Reply To: New Discussion Threat For Theological Debate

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R.M. Archer

Those who act according to the statues (puts on the wedding garment) that bible teaches, they will be allowed into the kingdom of heaven, to a place where God is pleased with them (the kingdom of heaven is many things, and is often the church, but always remember that it is not eternal salvation).

This is an interesting interpretation. I don’t think I’ve ever heard this perspective before. I think I maybe agree with parts of it, but not all of it? I think the Kingdom of Heaven is a spiritual reality that we enter into as soon as we’re saved, which begins on earth and culminates in the New Heaven and New Earth. It’s not separate from our eternal salvation, but a slim piece of it. We do good works not to earn a place in this kingdom, but to reflect our place in it. If we have been given a place in the Kingdom, it is our responsibility to act as faithful stewards of it, especially as we are called heirs (Rom. 8:14-17). This means building up the Church, both by building up and exhorting and edifying those already saved and by reaching out to the lost, and pursuing God’s will “on earth as it is in heaven.”

Likewise, our good works don’t earn us salvation, but are the natural fruit that comes from our salvation (Matt. 7:16-21, John 15). If we are truly saved, the Spirit works within us, providing us with a desire to practice the good works that God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them (Eph. 2:8-10).

One, for His glory. Our God is a jealous God, who wants use to love and serve Him during this life. He loves to see us honor His word, shine as a light, and follow his statues, this gives Him glory, glory he infinitely deserves.

Another good point.

Questions like “why doesn’t God just take us to heaven and send the non-elect to hell,” is like the question “why did God even create us in the first place?” We won’t know in this life, and we may never fully understand, but we do know it brings Him glory.

I disagree that we don’t know why He created us. He created us for fellowship with Him, to be like Him. We were intentionally created in His image to steward the Earth He created and walk in communion with Him. (But that’s a bit of a tangent, so I’ll leave that there.)

Also, God hating people with a righteous anger is fully justified, and is something He can do even though He is a God of love. In our fallen, totally depraved nature, we hated God. Hated Him, despised Him, thought of Him as nothing. We sinned against Him. For God to hate that sin and depredation is not sin, it is indignation. As I heard an elder say last weekend at a meeting, the real question isn’t why God hated Esau, it’s why did God love Jacob? Again, we do not know the mind of God, we do not know why he chose one and not the other. But the one who created us and could kill all of us with a thought and it wouldn’t be sin, can and does do as he pleases. We cannot, and should not try to treat God like a finite, human being.


It is an alienating hate, not a sinful hate.

Hm. That’s a good articulation.

Only ordained elders/bishops can administer the ordiances, as seen in the bible.

Do you have any particular references? I’m not trying to be difficult, and I’m not sure that I disagree with you, it’s just something I’d like to look at further so I figured I’d ask if you have any easy references. But if not, I can certainly look into it myself.

First, do you believe in the absolute predestination of all things?

Yes. I think God is in ultimate control of all things and orchestrates events for His glory and the well-being of the saints. But I also think we have personal responsibility and agency from a human perspective, so this doesn’t absolve us of responsibility for our behavior or the consequences thereof. I see it as similar to an author and their characters, where it is just as true that the characters make decisions as that the author makes their decisions; there are two perspectives and they’re not mutually exclusive even though they appear contradictory.

Two, do you believe that all the elect will believe the truth of the gospel and perform good works throughout their life? Do you believe they will persevere in these good works?

Yep. To use the terms from TULIP, that would be Irresistible Grace (God’s grace does what it sets out to do, i.e. the elect will receive that grace and be saved) and Perseverance of the Saints (true salvation is permanent and cannot be lost; the Spirit remains at work in the lives of the saved, prompting them to repentance and good works).

Speculative fiction author. Mythology nerd. Worldbuilding enthusiast. Singer. Fan of classic literature.

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