I understand he's talking about a specific group of people who infiltrate the church with false doctrine, but it’s still extremely strong wording that implies God does in fact ordain some people to hell. I'm confused by this. I'm not a Calvinist, but I am trying to understand.
KJV - 4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
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"For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through the perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. "Now may the God of perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus, so that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." (Romans 15:4-6). In the above verses, the same word appears that is also used in Jude 1:4. It is the Greek word 'prographo' which is translated, 'written in earlier times' here in Romans. The Holy Spirit is speaking through Jude and explaining that these same evil men have been 'written about beforehand' dating back to very ancient times. In fact, Jude quotes Enoch, (arguably the first 'prophet' of GOD in human history), just ten verses later: "But Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, also prophesied about these men, saying, “Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” (Jude 1:14-15). Bear in mind, this is a vision of the Lord Jesus Christ returning with the hosts of heaven to judge the world which Enoch received from GOD just seven generations after Adam, long before Moses lived and the Torah was delivered, long before Abraham was born and called from ancient Chaldea, and even before the judgment of the world in the days of Noah. While some Calvinists may be in error by 'going too far' (2 John 1:9), teaching or implying that men are born without choice because of predestination, their passion was clearly based in a godly fervor for an important aspect of GOD's divine nature. Satan later exploited this passion, (as he has with many sects), but originally, the Calvinists sensed the deep importance of recognizing how GOD already 'knows' every individual and what they will choose, how this will 'play out' into an historical narrative and all the ways He has already revealed this to His holy prophets. The Holy Spirit clarifies this for us in Romans also: "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose. Because those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers; "And those whom He predestined, He also called; and those whom He called, He also justified; and those whom He justified, He also glorified." (Romans 8:28-30). You should note that 'knowledge' comes first, then 'predestination.' This is a vitally important distinction, since GOD presciently watches events play out in His mind while allowing personal choice. This choice is the basis of 'liberty.' Liberty is at the heart of our calling and a steady 'transformation' into the new person which GOD intends for each of us to be, (2 Corinthians 3:17-18). So the Calvinists are actually correct that GOD doesn't 'call' anyone who is not already 'predestined.' What would be the point to a 'personal invitation' to something they have already repeatedly rejected through their own personal choice? Where this doctrine has strayed is in placing 'predestination' BEFORE 'knowledge' and robbing men of their liberty to choose. So why is an understanding of 'predestination' still important then? Why would Christ have given the Calvinists such a passion for it, if it would also cause some of them to stray? Predestination is prophecy about us individually, going all the way back to the 'beginning.' GOD 'foreknew' you personally, and imagined your entire journey home to Him. That is powerful consolation in our darkest moments. Knowing this, Satan has tried to spoil it for us. He failed, but I guess he had to try. That's what he was 'predestined' to do the moment he foolishly chose to betray GOD.
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