Originally Posted by Chris F
I agree with half of it. I think the bible teaches there is biblical intervention (holy spirit conviction) but I do not think it dismisses human free will. BY the logic John has God chooses some to go to heaven and some to go to hell. That is not true. Free will must be factored in. John does discuss this in part 2 I think but his answers are typical for Calvinist and never really proves anything but their personal statement of faith. I agree fully salvation is all about God. But I do not find anywhere in scripture where man's free will is removed form the equation. People here the gospel and make a conscience effort to reject it even after the Holy Spirit has worked in their life. I think this election teaching lends itself a little to much to the Calvinist Dogma Irresistible grace. We are all elected to salvation Christ died for ALL on the cross. Some will accept the free gift others will reject.
I don't really see much mentioned in the Bible about free will. Or at least not our modern concept of it. I see a lot about us being slaves - either slaves of Christ or slaves of sin - and slaves definitely don't have free will. So we are either led by sin or led by Christ; but without direct intervention from GOD we would be totally incapable of choosing Christ.
I believe the modern concept of free will is an illusion and has more in common with sinful pride than anything taught in the Bible.
I also don't believe that we are all elected. That totally defeats the purpose of having an elect. Did GOD reveal Himself to all the nations of the world in the Old Testament or just Israel (who He chose out of the nations)? Did GOD offer to make a mighty nation from the seed of every person on the planet or just Abraham? Did GOD bless both Jacob and Esau or did He decide to love Jacob and hate Esau before they were even born?
If you follow the pattern of the Old Testament, GOD chooses (or elects) a few out of many and from that few, He preserves a remnant for Himself. I don't think anything has changed. It's called Divine Prerogative. GOD has mercy and compassion on who He has mercy and compassion - it's not our place to decide that for Him.
In Luke 4: 25-27, Jesus said:
"I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land. Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon. And there were many in Israel with leprosy in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed—only Naaman the Syrian.”
The idea that GOD would choose only one widow and only one leper (who wasn't even Jewish) out of all the thousands of Israelites who were suffering and dying at those times, was so offensive to the religious Jews of Nazareth, that they attempted to throw Jesus off of a cliff! The Doctrine of Election is extremely offensive to the human mind because of our fallen, sinful nature.
Anyways, this sermon series has answered a lot of questions that I had about the elect and while I don't believe 100% in every one of MacArthur's interpretations, it has caused a lot of Biblical passages and doctrines to fall into place for me, so I feel that I have a greater understanding of the Bible and who GOD really is.
It also fills me with an incredible sense of humility and gratitude towards GOD. And it's helped me to root out some sins that I had started to overlook in my life because, if GOD chose me from before the foundation of the world, then why am I allowing myself to take such a casual approach towards sin?