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Thread: Warning Passages

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    Warning Passages

    I do not believe the warning passages of scripture have been discussed here in a while. There is no need to look at them again as a whole, since they all present the same argument. So what are the thoughts here again regarding these scriptures?

    My thoughts as of late are thus:

    1) they are the actual means God has ordained to preserve the elect.


    2) Written to mixed congregations and given to those who are not adhering to their said profession of faith to the truth.

    3) And certainly spoken of the reprobate who do not persevere in the faith.

    Any other thoughts?
    But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
    GALATIANS 5:22

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    Re: Warning Passages

    Joe,

    Why don't you post your 3 best examples so we can know the exact type of warning passages you are referring to. Scriptural warnings are given to different persons/groups and in differing contexts.

    Thanks, --Bob
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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    Re: Warning Passages

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert R. Higby View Post
    Joe,

    Why don't you post your 3 best examples so we can know the exact type of warning passages you are referring to. Scriptural warnings are given to different persons/groups and in differing contexts.

    Thanks, --Bob
    Bob, I did not have 3 specific examples in mind. I think that all could be lumped into a group that speaks of conditionalism. My 3 answers were just general statements regarding warning passages as a whole regarding losing ones salvation. I should have been clear on this in the OP. Exhortation to keep the faith, etc etc etc, the 'if' statements in general.

    I also want to be clear I do not for one second believe a blood bought child of God will lose their promised inheritance.
    But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
    GALATIANS 5:22

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    Re: Warning Passages

    Ok. I would like to start by asking this question to all posters. Is the following passage classified as a 'warning against apostasy' by most expositors really a 'warning passage' at all; why or why not? I am most interested in responses to this question.

    Heb 6:1-20, (NASB)
    Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of instruction about washings and laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment. And this we will do, if God permits. For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame. For ground that drinks the rain which often falls on it and brings forth vegetation useful to those for whose sake it is also tilled, receives a blessing from God; but if it yields thorns and thistles, it is worthless and close to being cursed, and it ends up being burned. But, beloved, we are convinced of better things concerning you, and things that accompany salvation, though we are speaking in this way. For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints. And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. For when God made the promise to Abraham, since He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, saying, "I will surely bless you and I will surely multiply you." And so, having patiently waited, he obtained the promise. For men swear by one greater than themselves and with them an oath given as confirmation is an end of every dispute.
    In the same way God, desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose, interposed with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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    Re: Warning Passages

    In a nutshell, this passage is not a "warning passage" against apostasy as most would have it to be. It is about the unregenerate Jews who continued on in the "dead works" of the ceremonial law. They continued on in their hatred for the Christ and in their ignorance of the righteousness which comes from God.
    Col 2:9, (NASB), For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form

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    Re: Warning Passages

    My opinion (which is worth nothing) is that I have little to no confidence that 'The Epistle to the Hebrews' is scripture, so I do not care what it says.

    Not to mention it's a federal offense to read other peoples mail!


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    Re: Warning Passages

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert R. Higby View Post
    Ok. I would like to start by asking this question to all posters. Is the following passage classified as a 'warning against apostasy' by most expositors really a 'warning passage' at all; why or why not? I am most interested in responses to this question.

    Heb 6:1-20, (NASB)
    Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of instruction about washings and laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment. And this we will do, if God permits. For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame. For ground that drinks the rain which often falls on it and brings forth vegetation useful to those for whose sake it is also tilled, receives a blessing from God; but if it yields thorns and thistles, it is worthless and close to being cursed, and it ends up being burned. But, beloved, we are convinced of better things concerning you, and things that accompany salvation, though we are speaking in this way. For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints. And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. For when God made the promise to Abraham, since He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, saying, "I will surely bless you and I will surely multiply you." And so, having patiently waited, he obtained the promise. For men swear by one greater than themselves and with them an oath given as confirmation is an end of every dispute.
    In the same way God, desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose, interposed with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.
    I don’t think it is a warning passage to the elect but a comparison passage. I think the ‘us’ that are to press on to maturity are the elect of God that are being addressed and they press on to maturity because they have been taught AND believe the truth of the Gospel of Grace, (with a conscience purged from dead works Heb 9:14), they are the ones for which the rains fall (for whom it was intended) and produce a blessing, the ones who are the heirs of the promise and the ones who have taken refuge in the hope set before us which is SURE AND STEADFAST! (our High Priest, Christ)

    The ‘those’ are others (individuals or assemblies) who have heard the truth and yet the rain wasn’t intended for them and therefore did not bring forth a blessing, instead it brought forth thorns and thistles (apostasy), much like the passage in 1 John 2:19.

    Eileen~
    "To those who have no works-phobia, I will state that you are not trembling before the gospel" Robert R. Higby

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    Re: Warning Passages

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert R. Higby View Post
    Ok. I would like to start by asking this question to all posters. Is the following passage classified as a 'warning against apostasy' by most expositors really a 'warning passage' at all; why or why not? I am most interested in responses to this question.

    .
    I spent a year in Pink's Exposition of Hebrews; I'll go with him. Also I heard a series of tapes many years ago on Hebrews (I gave the tapes away - shame on me), that made the case to my satisfaction that Paul was the penman. And further more, that in the garden the cup Jesus asked to be removed was a soul attack by Satan so severe he wondered if he might die there, ( I have more to say on that but not here) & his prayer was answered & he proceeded to the cross to be punished for my sin by God. He did not pray to avoid the cross, but the reverse, he prayed to get to the cross: those tapes on Hebrews were the start for me.

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    Re: Warning Passages

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert R. Higby View Post
    Ok. I would like to start by asking this question to all posters. Is the following passage classified as a 'warning against apostasy' by most expositors really a 'warning passage' at all; why or why not? I am most interested in responses to this question.

    Heb 6:1-20, (NASB)
    Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of instruction about washings and laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment. And this we will do, if God permits. For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame. For ground that drinks the rain which often falls on it and brings forth vegetation useful to those for whose sake it is also tilled, receives a blessing from God; but if it yields thorns and thistles, it is worthless and close to being cursed, and it ends up being burned. But, beloved, we are convinced of better things concerning you, and things that accompany salvation, though we are speaking in this way. For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints. And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. For when God made the promise to Abraham, since He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, saying, "I will surely bless you and I will surely multiply you." And so, having patiently waited, he obtained the promise. For men swear by one greater than themselves and with them an oath given as confirmation is an end of every dispute.
    In the same way God, desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose, interposed with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.
    This fits #2 in my OP. It is a mixed congregation. Wheat and Tares. You notice the writers shift from the third to the second person. But, beloved, we are convinced of better things concerning you. The warning is explicitly given to those who are not mature and mixing OC with NC. Also, when it speaks of it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, this is pointing to a brother, another man leading them back to repentance. This must be said because nothing is impossible for God. The writer is saying "There is nothing more I can do, I will leave it to God.
    But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
    GALATIANS 5:22

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    Re: Warning Passages

    Quote Originally Posted by Dahlseide View Post
    I spent a year in Pink's Exposition of Hebrews; I'll go with him. Also I heard a series of tapes many years ago on Hebrews (I gave the tapes away - shame on me), that made the case to my satisfaction that Paul was the penman. And further more, that in the garden the cup Jesus asked to be removed was a soul attack by Satan so severe he wondered if he might die there, ( I have more to say on that but not here) & his prayer was answered & he proceeded to the cross to be punished for my sin by God. He did not pray to avoid the cross, but the reverse, he prayed to get to the cross: those tapes on Hebrews were the start for me.
    Brother, GREAT POINTS, I also believe that Jesus was praying to GET THE CROSS! However, let me introduce to all that Jesus' prayer was not a prayer for God to relieve Him from the Cross, but, He prayed that prayer in the moment He was "sweating as drops of blood" and was "anguished even unto death", which could be that He was prematurely dying (remember the phrase: The Spirit is ready but the flesh is weak?). Jesus knew and often proclaimed His death in detail and knew, since His birth, the mode of His death. So, Jesus was REALLY praying to GET THE CROSS. Just consider that possibility. In Luke 4, Satan had already offered Him opportunities to "show His power", to "receive back creation" without any sacrifice and He refused!

    As to the issue here, I have seen God giving warnings, either to His servants or not, just to cause His elect to obey Him to the fullest. Note the promise that Paul received in the dream and compare with the events in the shipwreck: Paul had already received the promise that "all that were with him" (funny, he was being taken and says, "all with me") were not die, but they had to really stay with him. God used WARNINGS to cause men to, even if forcibly, maintain His Sovereign and unbreakable promise.

    Let me read the text proposed to Bob again. It is indeed a text used by some proponents of "lose salvation" error and deserves another look on my part before I answer the question.

    Thanks!
    Milt
    Sovereign Grace - Predestination of All Things
    Grace Ambassador
    A pitiful servant of God; a pitbull guardian of the message of Grace

    My pledge to other members:
    A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. Prov 15:1
    A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver - Prov. 25:11

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    Re: Warning Passages

    Quote Originally Posted by GraceAmbassador View Post
    ... God used WARNINGS to cause men to, even if forcibly, maintain His Sovereign and unbreakable promise.
    ...
    Sovereign Grace - Predestination of All Things
    Pink made the case at least for me that he was speaking to Christians during the period of transition from the old to the new who were being persecuted & thereby tempted to return to the old. Also he notes third person versus "us" in these passages - I'd quote him but I am 200 miles away from by books. Neither here nor there but I have read the opinion that Pink's was a poor mans John Owen.

    I have often said, & meant & still hold, that God forced me to believe & warns me with the same passages that he threatens as yet unbelieving elect. Forced not by sensory means of touch, smell, etc., but as Owen has written, regeneration involves a physical change along with the spiritual: what could be more physical than raising Christ bodily from the dead?

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    Re: Warning Passages

    Quote Originally Posted by Dahlseide View Post
    Pink made the case at least for me that he was speaking to Christians during the period of transition from the old to the new who were being persecuted & thereby tempted to return to the old. Also he notes third person versus "us" in these passages - I'd quote him but I am 200 miles away from by books. Neither here nor there but I have read the opinion that Pink's was a poor mans John Owen.

    I have often said, & meant & still hold, that God forced me to believe & warns me with the same passages that he threatens as yet unbelieving elect. Forced not by sensory means of touch, smell, etc., but as Owen has written, regeneration involves a physical change along with the spiritual: what could be more physical than raising Christ bodily from the dead?
    Please, all:

    Read Psalm 89 29-35

    Psalm 89:29-36 (King James Version)


    29His seed also will I make to endure for ever, and his throne as the days of heaven.
    30If his children forsake my law, and walk not in my judgments;
    31If they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments;
    32Then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes.
    33Nevertheless my lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail.
    34My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips.
    35Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David.
    36His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me.


    Even in the context of a Messianic promise, note how God intended to keep His own within the confines of His promise and statutes: THE ROD!
    I guess this makes the point that we are trying to make here.

    Milt
    Grace Ambassador
    A pitiful servant of God; a pitbull guardian of the message of Grace

    My pledge to other members:
    A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. Prov 15:1
    A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver - Prov. 25:11

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    Re: Warning Passages

    Eileen: I don’t think it is a warning passage to the elect but a comparison passage. I think the ‘us’ that are to press on to maturity are the elect of God that are being addressed and they press on to maturity because they have been taught AND believe the truth of the Gospel of Grace, (with a conscience purged from dead works Heb 9:14), they are the ones for which the rains fall (for whom it was intended) and produce a blessing, the ones who are the heirs of the promise and the ones who have taken refuge in the hope set before us which is SURE AND STEADFAST! (our High Priest, Christ)

    The ‘those’ are others (individuals or assemblies) who have heard the truth and yet the rain wasn’t intended for them and therefore did not bring forth a blessing, instead it brought forth thorns and thistles (apostasy), much like the passage in 1 John 2:19.


    This is exactly what I was looking for Eileen! The major contrast in the book named (inappropriately) Hebrews is between the US/WE, the YOU, and the THOSE. The US/WE are the elect and this passage is NOT warning them about anything. It is not a warning at all.

    It is an EXHORTATION to the elect. A very important one indeed. We are not to continue discussing/debating the basics of the gospel with those who once made a profession and later turned away from it. It is as simple as that. I have certainly struggled with this in my own life. In all my attempted interaction (in disobedience of this exhortation) with those who once shared a common interest in gospel truth with me but are now skeptics, no fruit has ever come from such endeavors.

    The point is not that we can absolutely discern who the elect are. The point is that WE cannot renew skeptics to repentance, only God can and He may do this independent of us. We are to deliver such persons to Satan, for the destruction of the flesh, and leave their spirits for God to deal with. They do not need more information.
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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    Re: Warning Passages

    So now we move on to some of the true warning or 'IF' passages referred to, those loved so much by the 'lose salvation' conditionalists:

    Mt. 24:10-13
    "At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. Because lawlessness is increased, most people's love will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved."

    John 15:1-11
    "I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full."

    Heb. 10:35-39
    Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised. For yet in a very little while, He who is coming will come, and will not delay. But My righteous one shall live by faith; And if he shrinks back, My soul has no pleasure in him. But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul.

    Heb. 3:14-15
    For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end, while it is said, "Today if you hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts, as when they provoked Me."

    I certainly recommend a study of what Gill has to say on these passages before continuing.
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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    Re: Warning Passages

    Joe, do you want to comment on how you interpret the meaning of these passages since you are the one who started this thread? I don't want to 'jump the gun' by posting my own interpretations too soon!
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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    Re: Warning Passages

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert R. Higby View Post
    Joe, do you want to comment on how you interpret the meaning of these passages since you are the one who started this thread? I don't want to 'jump the gun' by posting my own interpretations too soon!
    Of course. I was just waiting for others since I started the thread. I will answer by close of day.

    but if [any man] draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.

    Specifically this verse in Hebrews 10 once again shows the the writer is speaking of a 'mixed group'. The warning is specifically addressed to those who are not adhering to the faith, the Gospel of Christ. They are hypocrites in profession only. This one verse is perfectly in line with Ezekiel 18. It proves the God has no pleasure in the people at all. SO when in Ezekiel it is stated, "Do I have pleasure in the one who does not turn and repent?: THe answer is no He does not at all.
    But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
    GALATIANS 5:22

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    Re: Warning Passages

    Ezek. 18 is clearly and strictly Old Covenant; it quotes the stipulations and conditions of the covenant that Hebrews 8 says is abolished. We cannot bring Ezek. 18 into the discussion right now; that leads to a discussion of the covenants which is beyond the scope of the current thread. We are focused only on exegesis of NT passages.
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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    Re: Warning Passages

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert R. Higby View Post
    Ezek. 18 is clearly and strictly Old Covenant; it quotes the stipulations and conditions of the covenant that Hebrews 8 says is abolished. We cannot bring Ezek. 18 into the discussion right now; that leads to a discussion of the covenants which is beyond the scope of the current thread. We are focused only on exegesis of NT passages.
    I agree. None the less, God has no pleasure, no favorable disposition towards the same lot who perish.
    But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
    GALATIANS 5:22

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    Re: Warning Passages

    Lion, your 'evangelical' critics would be quick to point out that God's favorable disposition in this passage is contrary to or against the DEATH, not the PERSON, of the wicked. But I appreciate your perspective: in the Hebrew thought the two cannot be separated. When God states that He takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked He is stating that neither their persons nor the physical death of their persons are a sweet aroma to Him! For the elect, both their persons and their departure from this earthly life to the heavenly realm are a pleasure to God!
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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