I appreciate your response! But you start off saying, “Your way believes that God can use evil tactics and deeds and hold humans accountable for them and not be blamed Himself.” What evil tactics and deeds am I saying God uses? He eradicated all mankind from earth save 8! Because every intention of their heart was only evil continually! Is that one of the evil tactics I am saying He uses? Is that where you go when considering the power of the potter over the clay of the same lump to make one vessel to honor and another to dishonor? That if God makes a vessel to dishonor it makes Him the ultimate Author of evil? No. That is why one must seek to understand His ultimate Purpose for us! SO,
Let me ask this: What is the ultimate purpose God has in The Creation, given that man is indeed the acme of it? To me, our purpose is to be holy as He is holy, because we cannot live in His eternal kingdom unless we are. I am certainly not there yet and when Paul said in 1st Tim 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. There are two parts of the saying, one Christ came to save sinners, and two, every sinner should consider himself chief among them. That leaves no room for me to claim I am better than anyone else. Off the subject!
You said, “Second, scripture no where says or teaches that we are free in the sense of being outside of God’s control, we live on the earth and are subject to all of its laws and sciences including death and have no control over those matters, but we are indeed free to make willing choices that have real effects. Sin is a choice and you are free to do so, including rejecting Jesus as Lord,. If we don’t have a choice, then we are basically fatalists and that our decisions and choices do not matter.”
Is God’s control absolute? Yes or No. I do not claim God forces me to do evil. Jeremiah 17:9 and Mark 7:18-21 speak very clearly of the condition of the unregenerate heart. But throughout Scriptures It is made very clear that what man means for evil God can and does use to produce ultimate good. We can’t outsmart God, we can’t outguess God, we can’t outmaneuver God. Either He is in absolute control of man’s eternal destiny, or He has ceded control of that eternal destiny to a creature that has all the inate holiness of the serpent in the garden! Since our relationship with Jesus is personal my eternal destiny is between me and Him. It is not a corporate endeavor. Unless of course you believe one must be a member of a church to be saved. I do not, nor do I believe Scripture teaches that.
“Third, Why pray? God’s Word says to do so but if all is predetermined by God then what’s the use?“
We are commanded to pray by a Sovereign God. That should be enough of a reason. But we are told in no uncertain terms that mostly we pray for the wrong stuff. So what should we pray for? It isn’t as much what we should pray for as how we are to pray: in the spirit. It is only then that we are in full accord with the will of God in what we are seeking. It says those are groanings of the spirit that cannot be uttered. That means they most likely do not have a vocal component. I’m by no means an expert in prayer and I’m sure people are comforted by prayers offered up for them. Does God answer prayer that is contrary to His Will? No. Well, yes, but the answer is NO!
“Fourth, you quote Jeremiah 18:4-6 as a basis for the making of a man, the the true text is about the nation Israel. God sent him there to give him an object lesson for what was going to happen to them as a nation, not individuals.“
I was not referring to Jer. 18:4-6 at all. I was referring to Romans 9:20-22
Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? 22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:
Just Who fit those vessels of wrath for destruction? When you worked construction, didn’t you use ‘expendables’? Those were tools and bits and files and stuff that were good for their purposes, but were meant to be used up or destroyed so the ultimate plan could be completed. Indeed the end result could not be achieved without them. Do you believe God, in order to achieve His ultimate goal would not have need of anything like that? It is not up to us to decide which is which. Our job is to carry out the Great Commission. In John chapter 6 it says hundreds turned away and followed Him no more. But of all those He was given by the Father, He would lose none. So I did not give myself to Him until after the Father gave me to Him. That decision was made before the foundation of the world!!
I think there is little doubt this passage is precisely about someone who questions the Sovereignty of God in His absolute right to use any part or piece of His creation according to the good pleasure of His will alone re:Judas and Pharaoh, re Jacob and Esau. And it is no different for one to question the right of God in how He uses someone else. i.e. It would not be fair of Him to decide if John Doe is saved or not without John Doe having a voice in it before He does either. The problem with that line of thinking is it is refuted in the choice of Jacob over Esau: before they had done anything god or bad God chose re Romans 9:11. If God can sovereignly choose in their cases, why can He not sovereignly choose in mine?
My response to the call proves His choice. My choice does not force His response.
‘My response proves His choice. My choice does not force His response.’ also answers your fifth statement. “It is the responsibility of man to repent and trust Jesus as Savior and Lord, God’s Word places the responsibility on the person in numerous places. Ezekiel 18:23, 32, John 3:16 – 18, 2, Acts 16:31, Romans10:9-10, 13, 2 Thess. 2: 10 – 12, Rev. 22:17”
Regeneration precedes faith!
And it is only in faith one comes to Christ.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
By faith He IS Lord and Savior to us as we walk this sod!
The Book of Romans is our theological primer concerning the power of God over man and many other topics. It seeks to teach the proper use of reason in understanding God; an extremely lofty goal considering the depths to which its readership has fallen,
Again thanks for your response. Iron sharpens iron.