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It is important to remember that Arminianism (conditional election) and Calvinism (predestination) are manmade doctrines from approx. The 13th - 14th centuries and therefore, are not infallible. In a very small nutshell, Arminianism is a doctrine developed by Jacobus Armenius of salvation to anyone who accepts the free gift of the blood of Christ as payment for their sins. This doctrine was formed in direct opposition to Calvinism, the doctrine named for John Calvin, one of the supporters. Calvinists believe God determined, before creating humanity, who would go to heaven, that they were predestined (have no choice) to become children of God. Proponents of each can site numerous verses that support their theory. However, to take the position that one is right and the other is wrong requires ignoring or reinterpreting the opposing theories supporting verses. This also does not encourage unity among believers. I would encourage someone studying this subject to get a good study bible and, most importantly, a greek dictionary to look up key words in the verses listed as supporting each theory. Verses are frequently taken out of context to be made to support one position or another. I think, as humans, we want things to fit perfectly in a nice square box of human logic and understanding. But Gods thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are, at times, beyond our understanding. I personally believe that aspects of both theories are true: that God is not willing that any should perish and has offered the free gift of salvation through Jesus' death on the cross to anyone who believes. At the same time, God in His sovereignty will have mercy on whom He wants to have mercy, and harden whom He wants to harden (Rom 9) in order to accomplish His over all plan. I don't think God wants us to become bogged down debating manmade doctrines, especially if it obscures Gods message of grace and mercy and salvation to a lost and troubled world or causes divisions among believers. Rom 3...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God... Rom 6 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Rom 5 But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Rom 10 That if you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved... For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved... Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.
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