So Mark, did the Thief on the cross become a Calvinist before he died?
Was Christ "implying" that, first and foremost, you will become a Calvinist, and THEN you will be in Paradise with me?
I am not asking of course did he understand the five points perfectly. What I am asking is did he know them better than all of the guys who "outside the camp" call hairy tics? Did he have greater understanding than Calvin, Pink, Clark, Spurgeon, etc.
What of Peter too? When did Peter get saved? After Christ told him to feed His sheep three times? Or after arguing with God over eating meat previously deemed unclean.
Obviously "outside the camp" would call Calvin and anyone else today a Heretic if they were preaching Sanctification based on not eating unclean animals.
So if Peter had that one wrong, it really makes the opponents of OSAS look good, seeing as Peter had that little flame thing above his head and all back in Acts 2.
Seems to me Mark like "OutSidetheCamp" has found a pretty prideful position. Not a lot of love there. Especially in view of Galations where it list those who are to be restored in love. Heretics are on the list.
Just interested in your thoughts.
I answer by posting something I wrote to someone else a while ago (below).
So many self-righteous religionists use the thief on the cross to promote their God-hating heresy that there are some regenerate persons who are ignorant of the gospel. Perhaps God will use this to open your eyes or the eyes of others reading this.
God says that those who do not believe the gospel are unregenerate (Mark 16:16). Thus, the thief on the cross believed the gospel. God says that the gospel reveals the righteousness of God (Romans 1:17). Thus, the thief on the cross believed the righteousness of God. God says that those who are ignorant of the righteousness of God revealed in the gospel are unregenerate (Romans 10: 3). Thus, the thief on the cross was not ignorant of the righteousness of God. God says that the righteousness of God is manifested in salvation conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Christ alone, without the deeds of the law, showing God to be both just and justifier (Romans 3:21-26). Thus, the thief on the cross believed in the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Christ alone, without the deeds of the law, and believed that God is just and justifier. He knew that it was the work of Christ alone that made the difference between salvation and damnation.
And what of your brothers in Satan, the universal atonement advocates? Do they believe the gospel? They do not believe that it is the work of Christ alone that makes the difference between salvation and damnation; instead, they believe that it is the work of the sinner that makes the difference between salvation and damnation. They do not believe the gospel. They are ignorant of the righteousness of God revealed in the gospel. They are unregenerate. And all those who think that these people are regenerate are unregenerate themselves, because they either do not believe that the work of Christ is an essential part of the gospel or they do not believe that every regenerate person believes the gospel.
You wrote: "Had the criminal then been asked about his theology, he would have had no answer. Theology played no part in his salvation, and - theology plays no part in our salvation. It matters not if one is a 'free will-er' or 'a sovereign grace-er'. If one has not been quickened by the Holy Spirit, then one is not saved. It is just as simple as that. ... Also, this - it should anyway - eliminates all the judgmentalism that manifests itself by the disclaiming of certain persons' salvation because they are 'free-willers.' Salvation is 'of the LORD'. It - absolutely - is not 'of the theology.'"
First of all, had the criminal been asked what he believed, he would have confessed belief in the gospel of salvation conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ alone. Knowledge of God is not a prerequisite of salvation; it is an inevitable and immediate result of salvation. God does not save someone and then leave him ignorant of the gospel for a time, as you heretically suggest. IMMEDIATELY upon regeneration, God gives that person a KNOWLEDGE of the only ground of salvation. Thus, there is NO SUCH THING as one who has been quickened by the Holy Spirit who believes in salvation conditioned on the sinner. This goes for the thief on the cross, this goes for John the Baptist, this goes for Paul, this goes for EVERY regenerate person.
Consider the following statement: "Theology plays no part in our salvation. It matters not if one is a Muslim or a Christian. If one has not been quickened by the Holy Spirit, then one is not saved. It is just as simple as that. ... Also, this - it should anyway - eliminates all the judgmentalism that manifests itself by the disclaiming of certain persons' salvation because they are Muslims. Salvation is 'of the LORD'. It - absolutely - is not 'of the theology.'"
What is wrong with such a statement? If you were consistent, you would have to say that there is NOTHING wrong with such a statement. Substitute any number of things for "free-willer" or "Muslim." Substitute "Buddhist" or "Hindu" or "Mormon" or "JW" or "Roman Catholic" or even "Satanist" or "atheist." According to your warped, depraved view, you would have to say that there are some regenerate Muslims or Mormons or even Satanists! After all, "theology plays no part in our salvation," right? "Salvation is not of the theology," right? It doesn't matter what a person believes; it just matters whether or not they have been quickened by the Holy Spirit, right? There are Holy Spirit-quickened Muslims and Buddhists and atheists walking around, right? Who are we to judge a Muslim or a Satanist to be lost, since "salvation is of the LORD and not of the theology," right? After all, Muslims or Buddhists or Hindus or Mormons or JWs or Roman Catholics or Satanists or atheists are just ignorant of some theology, right? What blasphemous dung. "Something to munch on"? No - something to gag on. Something to vomit out.
The TRUTH is that when the Holy Spirit quickens someone, that person is given SPECIFIC KNOWLEDGE. The Scripture bears out the fact that there is some ESSENTIAL KNOWLEDGE that every true believer knows and believes. And when he believes, he is NO LONGER a universal atonement "free-willer" or a Muslim or a Buddhist or a Hindu or a Mormon or a JW or a Roman Catholic or a Satanist or an atheist or whatever he was before he was saved. In fact, when he believes the TRUE gospel, he REPENTS of his former belief and counts it but LOSS and DUNG for the excellency of the KNOWLEDGE of Christ Jesus his Lord (Phil. 3:8).
"And this is life eternal, that they might KNOW thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent" (Jn. 17:3). What KNOWLEDGE is involved in KNOWING God and Christ, which is eternal life? "And ye shall KNOW the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32). What is the TRUTH that God's people KNOW that sets them free? "... they have no KNOWLEDGE that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray to a god that cannot save" (Is. 45:20b). What is this KNOWLEDGE that these idolaters are missing? "For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to KNOWLEDGE" (Rm. 10:2). What is this KNOWLEDGE that these lost religionists are missing? "But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. ... For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the KNOWLEDGE of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ" (2 Cor. 4:3-6). What is this LIGHT that the lost people BLINDED to? What is the light of the KNOWLEDGE of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ that has shined in believer's hearts? "But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of DOCTRINE which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became servants of righteousness" (Romans 6:17-18). What is that DOCTRINE that believers believed when they were made free from sin?
You try to make the fact that "salvation is of the Lord" incompatible with the fact that all saved people believe certain truths. In doing so, you twist the Scripture to your own destruction. Salvation IS of the Lord - it is totally, unconditionally, unilaterally, 100% of the Lord. Theology does not save. Theology does not play a part in the ground of salvation. Knowledge of doctrine is not a prerequisite to salvation. But when the sovereign God saves someone, he sovereignly GIVES that person KNOWLEDGE of GOSPEL DOCTRINE. He immediately GIVES that person the KNOWLEDGE that "salvation is of the Lord." A regenerate person, even if he has been regenerated for only five minutes, will NEVER believe that salvation is conditioned TO ANY DEGREE, IN ANY WAY on himself. He will NEVER believe that it is HIS OWN effort that makes the difference between salvation and damnation. Thus, he will NEVER believe that Jesus Christ died for everyone without exception.
You do not believe that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation to everyone believing (Romans 1:16). You do not believe that those who do not believe the gospel are unregenerate (Mark 16:16). You do not believe that those who are ignorant of the righteousness of God revealed in the gospel are unregenerate (Romans 10:3). You think that the universal atonement advocates believe the true gospel. This shows that you don't even know what the gospel is. God commands you to REPENT of believing in a false gospel of salvation conditioned on the sinner and to BELIEVE the true gospel of salvation conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ alone. I would rejoice to see God open your eyes!
<<What does it mean that you "have been a Christian since 1985 and Reformed for the past 3 or 4 years"? Are you saying you believed in universal atonement for a time after you were regenerated?>>
<<Yes I guess you can say that but I never was confronted with Calvinism. I believed if one accepted Jesus one would have their sins atoned for. God saved me and let me stay in ignorance. If you asked at the time "did Jesus ACTUALLY SAVE you"? I would have said "yes". So I was inconsistent. I am not sure of the tenor of this club or a couple of other ones on the Arminian who wants to have his cake (say Jesus actually saved him) and eat it too (say he had a choice). I believe the consistent Arminian (ala Charles Finney and Pelagius) are heretics
I'd like you to read the following articles: I will read them as time allows and get back to you.
www.outsidethecamp.org/gosprep.htm As for this article I have a problem with making such sweeping statements about the rapidity of change in a person truly regenerated. For instance the author says "If he previously believed that it is the work of the sinner that makes the difference between salvation and damnation (as is the case of all who believe that Christ died for everyone without exception), he now believes that it is the work of Christ alone that makes the difference between salvation and damnation. What a great and God-glorifying change!"
So are you saying I really wasn't saved until I flew the TULIP flag over my house? I strongly disagree. I have met people who will use the word "alone" and try to work a choice that I believe are saved. Remember with Apollos, Priscilla and Acquila helped him to learn the way more accurately. God takes time on people and I am not going to make sweeping anathema statements on all PEOPLE involved in inconsistency. What I will condemn is the DOCTRINE.>>
So you say you believed in the false gospel of universal atonement after God saved you. This is absolutely impossible. This is like saying you believed in the false gospel of Buddhism or Hinduism or Islam or Mormonism after God saved you. When God saves someone, He causes that person to repent of his former religion and believe the true gospel of salvation conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ alone.
What would you say of one who says, "After God regenerated me, I was a Jehovah's Witness for a period of time. Yeah, I was a Christian, but I just believed some inconsistent things about the deity of Christ." Can a Christian NOT believe in the deity of Christ? Of course not. Can a Christian NOT believe in the work of Christ? Of course not. There are some things that are the immediate and inevitable fruit of regeneration. Belief in the person and work of Christ is an immediate and inevitable fruit of regeneration. God does not save someone and then leave him ignorant of the person and work of Christ. A Christian does not "grow" from believing in a false gospel of salvation conditioned on the sinner to the believing true gospel of salvation conditioned on the work of Christ alone.
As far as your question of whether or not you were really saved until you flew the TULIP flag over your house: I have received many letters to this effect. One such letter I have posted on the Outside the Camp web site. The writer wrote the following:
"I became a Calvinist in 1995. I believe I came to faith in '91. Becoming a Calvinist was a process. I must confess that I did not fight it kicking and screaming, I pursued it gradually --- or it pursued me. However, I would have to consider myself an Arminian or semi-Pelagian up until I became a five point C. After all, muddled thought is not Calvinistic when it comes to TULIP. Would you assert that I was not regenerate with saving faith from '91 until I embraced limited atonement?"
"I would assert (because the Bible asserts) that you are still not regenerate. Your Arminianism was an abomination to God, and your Calvinism is an abomination to God. When one truly repents of believing a false gospel of salvation conditioned on the sinner, then he counts his former religion as loss and dung (Philippians 3:7-8). Even though you 'became' a 'Calvinist' in 1995, you still do not consider your former religion as dung. You do not believe that while you were in this religion, you were a God-hater, bringing forth dead works and fruit unto death."
This also applies to you. You have not truly repented. You do not believe that THE Atonement is an essential gospel doctrine that God causes every one of His people to believe upon regeneration. You are still dead in your sins.
I encourage you to read the "letters" section of the Outside the Camp web site at www.outsidethecamp.org/letters.htm .
<<I agree, John. Babes in Christ don't claim to know everything perfectly... they just claim to know the One who is perfect.>>
We're not talking perfectionism here. Christians can be in error on many things. But what they ALL believe, from babes in Christ to the most mature, is the GOSPEL, which includes the PERSON and the WORK of Jesus Christ.
Let's go back to the example of the Jehovah's Witness: If I say that all JW's are lost, would you then say to me, "Babes in Christ don't claim to know everything perfectly. A babe in Christ might need some time to believe that Jesus is God."??
Please read "Some Form of Perfectionism?" at www.outsidethecamp.org/letters72(2).htm .
I have also noticed that you have censored some of my posts. What's the deal? Do you not like the truth?
To God alone be the glory,
Marc D. Carpenter
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