I'm sitting here this morning, in the midst of my own little struggle. I'm saying, "Just leave this alone and walk away from it. You're going to end up showing your own humanity, here, Frankie. You're actually responding in offense to something you took personally that may or may not have been directed at you personally when just a few days you ago you admonished others NOT to do the same thing. You need to just delete your previous comment and back out of this discussion and let it rest. You need to behave yourself or else you're going to end up pointing to self." Which is exactly what I'm doing right now. BUT . . . sometimes forgetting ourselves means we are willing to offer ourselves up, warts and all, to be used by the ONE who is higher than all of us. If we believe that we are His and everything about us--even our warts--can be used by a Holy God to reveal Himself to others, we have to be willing to speak even when being silent is more comfortable and a whole lot easier for us. The truth is, in the mix of all our voices, something beautiful and extraordinary happens. God DOES use us to speak to the hearts of others. We just don't always know who is listening and who needs to hear and who will respond to what He moves us to say. We respond to His prompting more than we respond to our own desires to preserve our pride or our dignity or even our personal peace. In fact, when the Spirit moves us to speak, we won't have peace until we do it--even if that means we end up throwing ourselves out there to be judged and evaluated by others.
Having said ALL that, I feel led to say, be careful, Paula. Be careful making blanket statements like this:
Paula22466 wrote:Let's get something clear, my friends. There is no Bible, and no Christian (who understands the Bible) who contests the fact that God has made a choice concerning who would be saved and who would be lost before the world began (Ephesians 1:4, Matthew 25:34, Acts 13:48, Ephesians 2:10, Romans 8:29)
I know many Bible believing Christians who do not see the same thing you see in those scriptures. I, in fact, do not see in those scriptures a definitive line between God's establishing the Body of Christ (corporate election) and individual salvation. There are many who would argue that the verses you mention are talking about God deciding from the foundations of time that He would establish a people (the church as the Body of Christ--and it's not a denomination). How HE adds to that body is the "mystery." When you make a statement like that, I hope you do it carefully, realizing what you have said. You have said, in it, that those who do not see it the way God has led you to see it do not believe God's Word and have implied that they don't understand God's Word. Be careful making a statement like that. You realize that your own beliefs--or at least my understanding of what you believe--say that God's Sovereign Will is responsible for giving us understanding. So, your own beliefs have to say that God is responsible for all those people who don't see it like you see it. It is really God that you are accusing. From where I am, that is why some people in this discussion resist what you have to say.
THEY KNOW that they know God--and everyone in this discussion has claimed that the only reason they know God is because of Jesus. They talk to Him and trust Him and walk with Him and learn from Him--so for you to say that God has withheld something from them is an insult to the Savior who has made Himself known to them, and it is an insult to what "mystery" has happened in their own hearts.
Also--and please, do not misunderstand me--I am in no way, shape, or form discounting the previously mentioned scholars--but God uses the foolish things of the world to confound the wise. That is scriptural. Jesus also exhorted us to come to Him as little children, knowing that we know very little and THAT IS A GOOD THING. We know what is most important. I cannot get to God but by Jesus. Our constant desire to know everything complicates the simple. I have just as much to learn about trusting the Lord and following Him from my 88 year old grandmother who has LIVED it her entire life and the eight year old new converts in my own church family as I do from the great scholars.
What God keeps showing me that He is about during this time in our history as men and women is unifying His Body. He wants us together, all proclaiming the ONE TRUTH that will save many. There is no way to the Father but by Jesus. When we do that, sheep will be drawn to the fold. When we sit and discuss who is and is not part of the Body, we are wasting precious time. Yes, we want to understand. Yes, there is a purpose for theological discussions. If you say you believe in God's Sovereign Will, then you must believe in His Will that the Body of Christ be as One and that He WILL get us to that place. We are only One when we preach Christ and Him crucified.