Tuesday, March 3, 2015

R.C. Sproul Claims: "God Does Not Desire The Salvation Of All Men" ...And So Says The Devil

Individuals such as R.C. Sproul, John MacArthur, James White and John Piper, claim to be God’s representatives on Earth as they teach philosophies that are contrary to what the Bible states. These men claim that God does not desire all men to be saved

However, this is what the Bible states:
I exhort therefore, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and givings of thanks, be made for all men:  for kings and all who are in high places; that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and reverence.  For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior;  who desires all people to be saved and come to full knowledge of the truth.  For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all; the testimony in its own times; (1 Timothy 2:1-6 World English Bible)
As we can see, the obvious reading is God desires all men (everyone) to be saved, therefore Jesus (the only mediator between humans and God) gave himself as a ransom for all (not some) and believers are instructed to pray for all men (which means, everyone).

The Problem
The problem for many people is that rather than accepting the obvious truth, they start thinking about things like the salvation of those before Jesus paid the price on the Cross. Now this becomes a real issue in the minds of these souls when they are trying to convert others to their way of thinking rather than letting their lives do the preaching for them. 

The one thing that Jesus taught His disciples, which we all need to heed, is He is glorified when we bear fruit in our lives that reflect His nature. If we are not doing this, then something is amiss.

The initial and abiding fruit that we are talking about should be joy and peace. The joy of salvation should be part of the believer’s life every day. If it is not, the person has not been saved.  That is in the completed sense as such a person will not lose his or her salvation, because they are actually saved since they have genuinely passed from death into life and are bearing the fruit of salvation.

However, the majority of people who say they believe that Jesus is the Son of God and the Savior of the world, have not actually received the joy of salvation and are struggling in taking up the cross of Jesus and following Him. These people are in the process of being saved. As they are looking to Jesus they are drawing closer to securing their salvation, either while they are on Earth or when they die. These people could also turn away from Jesus and reject Him.  This is why we find scriptures in the Bible that address this very fact and warn people not to reject their salvation (e.g. Hebrews 10:26-27) but recognize that God desires every person to be saved and grow in the knowledge of the truth.

Below is the commentary of this verse by ten respected commentaries and also what John Calvin claims this verse states.

Meyer's NT Commentary[1]
God’s purpose of salvation extends to all, and therefore the prayer of Christians must include all.

Matthew Poole's Commentary[2]
This distinction of the Divine will being clearly set down in Scripture, answers the objection; for when it is said in the text, that God will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth; and in the same sense by St. Peter, that God will have none perish, but come to repentance, 2 Peter 3:9; we must understand it, not with respect to his decretive will [as a decree], but his complacential [satisfying] will, that is, the repentance and life of a sinner is very pleasing to his holiness and mercy. And this love of God to men has been declared in opening the way of salvation to them by the Mediator, and by all the instructions, invitations, commands, and promises of the gospel, assuring them that whoever comes to Christ upon the terms of the gospel shall in no wise be cast off; that no repenting believer shall be excluded from saving mercy

Adam Clark's Commentary[3]
Who will have all men to be saved - Because he wills the salvation of all men; therefore, he wills that all men should be prayed for. In the face of such a declaration, how can any Christian soul suppose that God ever unconditionally and eternally reprobated any man? Those who can believe so, one would suppose, can have little acquaintance either with the nature of God, or the bowels of Christ.

[This is strong language by Adam Clarke. He is effectively saying that the likes of John Calvin and those who believe in the doctrine of double predestination do not know Jesus Christ]

James Coffman's Commentary[4]
Who would have all men to be saved ... It is the will of God that all men should inherit eternal life; but it is also the will of God that people should do so through acceptance of Jesus Christ, and persons refusing to do that must forfeit the inheritance. Another factor that enters into the consideration is the will of man, God having granted to all people the freedom of their will; and, where man's will is unresponsive and rebellious against God's will, there can be no salvation. God DESIRES the salvation of all, but the RESPONSIBILITY for accepting that salvation rests squarely upon every man. As Nute said, "This verse must not be stressed to support a numerical universalism."

Albert Barne's Notes[5]
So God wills that all people should be saved. It would be in accordance with his benevolent nature. He has made ample provision for it. He uses all proper means to secure their salvation. He uses no positive means to prevent it, and if they are not saved it will be their own fault…. This passage cannot mean, as many have supposed, that God wills that all kinds of people should be saved [regardless of whether they continue in their sin], or that some sinners [only] of every rank and class may be saved, because:
  1.  the natural and obvious interpretation of the language is opposed to such a sense. The language expresses the desire that “all men” should be saved, and we should not depart from the obvious sense of a passage unless necessity requires it.
  2.  prayer and thanksgiving 1 Timothy 2:1 are directed to be offered, not for some of all ranks and conditions, but for all mankind. No exception is made, and no direction is given that we should exclude any of the race from the expressions of our sympathy, and from an interest in our supplications. The reason given here for that prayer is, that God desires that all people should be saved. But how could this be a reason for praying for all, if it means that God desired only the salvation of some of all ranks?
  3.  in 1 Timothy 2:5-6 the apostle gives reasons showing that God wished the salvation of all people, and those reasons are such as to prove that the language here is to be taken in the most unlimited sense. Those reasons are:
  • (a) that there is one God over all, and one Mediator between God and people - showing that God is the Father of all, and has the same interest in all; and,
  • (b) that Christ gave himself a ransom for all - showing that God desired their salvation.
                This verse proves:
  1.  that salvation is provided for all - for if God wished all people to be saved, he would undoubtedly make provision for their salvation; and if he had not made such provision, it could not be said that he desired their salvation, since no one can doubt that he has power to provide for the salvation of all;
  2. that salvation should be offered to all people - for if God desires it, it is right for his ministers to announce that desire, and if he desires it, it is not proper for them to announce anything contrary to this;
  3. that people are to blame if they are not saved.
  4. If God did not wish their salvation, and if he had made no provision for it, they could not be to blame if they rejected the gospel. If God wishes it, and has made provision for it, and they are not saved, the sin must be their own - and it is a great sin, for there is no greater crime which a man can commit than to destroy his own soul, and to make himself the eternal enemy of his Maker.
Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges[6]
Whatever be the ultimate issue in fact, the Divine intention is that all men shall be saved. That this Divine intention may be thwarted by man’s misuse of his free will, is part of the great mystery of evil, unexplained and inexplicable; but that its bounty is not confined to particular races or individuals but takes in the whole race of man, is of the very essence of the Gospel. [NB] It is possible that certain forms of Gnostic heresy, which held that certain classes of men, the uninitiated and unspiritual, are incapable of salvation, are here aimed at; but the introduction of the statement of the breadth of the Gospel is sufficiently explained by the context… and is significant of that aspect of the Gospel, which naturally comes into prominence, when its mutilation or perversion has begun to lead souls astray into heresy. [Doctrines such as eternal security through unconditional election.]
(iii.) 6. The third doctrinal reason for the salvability of all men, is the universal purpose of the Atonement: Jesus Christ gave Himself a ransom on behalf of all, and hence we may conclude that it is God’s will that all should be saved.

Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown[7]
Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

Who - seeing He is willing that all should be saved (1 Timothy 2:4; Romans 5:18): we should meet the will of God in behalf of others, by praying for the salvation of all. More would be converted if we prayed more. Our Saviour actually saved us who believe. 'He is willing that all should be saved by believing, even those who do not yet believe (cf. 1 Timothy 4:10; Titus 2:11). Why multitudes are lost is, they will not come to Him for life (John 5:40…'ye are not willing to come']. Paul does not say, 'He wishes to save all,' for then He would have saved all in fact; but "will have all men to be saved" implies the possibility of man's accepting (through God's prevenient grace) or rejecting it (through man's own perversity). Our prayers ought to include all, as God's grace included all.

Jesus is  the Savior of all men contrary to what the heretics [Sproul, MacArthur, White, Piper & co] state.

What The Spirit Of God Says
This is what the Bible says regarding about those who deny the truth.
But the Spirit says expressly that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons, through the hypocrisy of men who speak lies, branded in their own conscience as with a hot iron; …..This saying is faithful and worthy of all acceptance.  For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we have set our trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe. (I Timothy 4:1-2,9-10 World English Bible)
Jesus is the Savior of all men, providing they are willing to accept the salvation that is on offer. As for those who do not believe, they do not recognize that Jesus is the Savior.  They will though when they are judged. 

John Calvin, disagrees with the views of the commentators already quoted in respect to this verse. He does not see the words “all men” (that is, people) as meaning individuals. Calvin sees “all” to mean “some”, and this is discussed in the previous article (Here). 

John Calvin[8]
It is certain that all those to whom the gospel is addressed are invited to the hope of eternal life. In short, as the calling is a proof of the secret election, so they whom God makes [no freewill involved] partakers of his gospel are admitted by him to possess salvation [this is unconditional election]; because the "gospel reveals to us the righteousness of God", which is a sure entrance into life.

Hence we see the childish folly of those who represent this passage to be opposed to predestination. “If God” say they, “wishes all men indiscriminately to be saved, it is false that some are predestined by his eternal purpose to salvation, and others to perdition.” They might have had some ground for saying this, if Paul were speaking here about individual men; although even then we should not have wanted the means of replying to their argument; for, although the will of God ought not to be judged from his secret decrees, when he reveals them to us by outward signs, yet it does not therefore follow that he has not determined with himself what he intends to do as to every individual man.

Doctrine of Double Predestination
The doctrine of double predestination is some were predestined (chosen) before Creation for the secret election and the rest were predestined before Creation for perdition (eternal torment). Contrary to the good news of the Gospel, according to Calvin, freewill does not exist and the reference to "all to be saved" is not a reference to everybody, as being individuals who are individually responsible for their own response to the Gospel.

The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges[9]
Thus the Greek fathers accepted St Paul’s words in their prima facie [obvious and natural] sense. The Latin fathers seek to guard their application; and St Augustine actually says “by ‘all’ understand ‘all the predestined,’ because men of all sorts are among them.” The phrase is not “willeth to save all,” which would have been very near to universalism; but there is implied “the human acceptance of offered salvation on which even God’s predestination is contingent”.

Expositors Greek New Testament[10]
But here St. Paul does not say θέλει σῶσαι, [desires to save] but θέλει σωθῆναι; [desires to be saved] for by His own limitation of His powers, so far as they are perceived by us, the salvation of men does not depend on God alone. It depends on the exercise of the free will of each individual in the acceptance or rejection of salvation as well as on the cooperation of those who pray for all men; and, by so doing, generate a spiritual atmosphere in which the designs of God may grow.

Justin Edward's Commentary[11]
Who will have all men to be saved; by becoming acquainted with the gospel, and by believing and obeying it. He therefore wills that it should be preached to every creature, and that his people should pray that all may embrace it

Ten Commentaries Agree
Out of the ten respected commentaries, some written by more than one person, not one rejected the truth of the scripture that God desires every person to be saved. The only one to reject this was John Calvin. John Calvin is also known to have desired the death of people he did not agree with. This is not the fruit of the Spirit of God. For the Bible states, that all who hate are of the devil and whoever hates another is a murderer (1 John 3:15).

The fact that God desires all men to be saved indicates that each one’s free will is respected. The difficulty for those who oppose men having a freewill is they do not want to admit that they have not chosen to seek out the Lord Jesus Christ. Most of these people believe that they are saved by virtue of the fact they possess some knowledge or theology, as the Pharisees did; or as Calvin claims, knowledge of the righteousness of God. This righteousness of God, according to Calvin, once recognized or understood is a sure entrance into eternal life.

The Bible tells us that the Jews had the knowledge of God. Yet they rejected Jesus. In particular, the Pharisees rejected Jesus, they refused to come to Him, because they believed that they were saved by election alone. Calvin calls this ‘secret election”. Notice how this deceptive doctrine of the devil has the hallmark of “secret knowledge of the initiates”, which sound very much like Gnosticism.

All the four men (Sproul, MacArthur, White, Piper) mentioned above are Calvinists who promote the false teaching of TULIP and that humans do not have freewill to choose salvation. They deny Lord Jesus Christ died as a ransom to redeem what Adam lost when he obeyed the voice of his wife rather than the voice of God, and thereby everyone who was born after them. They deny Lord Jesus Christ died so all men could be saved.

Jesus In Hell Solves The Problem About Salvation Of All (everybody gets to understand who is the Son of God)
The issue about Jesus' death applying to everyone is seen in the fact that Jesus went into the prison where those who rejected Him in the days of Noah were kept. Jesus went into Hell and preached to them by virtue of the fact that He is the Light that shines in the darkness and thereby judges the world including those consigned to darkness. Once Jesus had been taken to Hell at His death and demonstrated He was (and is) the Son of God, by virtue of His Spirit of Holiness and indestructible power, those confined to eternal darkness were made alive when the realized what they had really done. When they rejected Noah's message of salvation, they had rejected the Savior of the World and, from the moment of their realization of this truth, the worm of their decision has begun to eternally torment them. 
 Because Christ also suffered for sins once, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring you to God; being put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; in which he also went and preached to the spirits in prison, who before were disobedient, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah, while the ship was being built.... For to this end the Good News was preached even to the dead, that they might be judged indeed as men in the flesh, but live as to God in the spirit. (1 Peter 3:18-20; 4:6)
False Teachers Beware
Every false teacher is also likely to end up in the same place along with all who reject the truth that Lord Jesus Christ died for the sins of the whole world and whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.

As it is God's will for all men to be saved and, to this end, we are to pray for all men. Therefore, I pray that Robert C. Sproul, John MacArthur, James White and John Piper will repent of their heresy and sin, acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord and be saved, so they can come to the knowledge of the truth, just as Martyn Lloyd Jones (Joy Unspeakable) recanted of the error of his ways .

[1] Meyer, Heinrich. ". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament.
[2] Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 1 Timothy 2:1". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible.
[3] Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 2:1". "The Adam Clarke Commentary".  1832
[4] Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 2:1". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". ". Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, Used by permission
[5] Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 2:1". "Barnes' Notes on the New Testament".
[6] "Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges
[7] Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged".
[8] Calvin, John. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 2:1". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible".
[9] The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges Used By Permission
[10] Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D.  The Expositor's Greek Testament.
[11] Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 2:1". "Family Bible New Testament

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