How does God harden a man’s heart?

How does God harden a man’s heart?

How does God harden a man's heart? by Cheryl Schatz

How does God harden a man’s heart? We know that God can and does harden hearts because the Bible tells us this, but how and why does God choose to do this? And if all people are created with pre-hardened hearts as some suggest, then why is it necessary for God to harden a man’s heart? Let’s consider a balanced view of God’s sovereignty.

Let’s also consider Pharaoh, a man NOT after God’s own heart.

WHY does God harden a man’s heart?

We know why God does things when He reveals it to us. God does harden some hearts because He said He does this and God tells us this is His desire.

Romans 9:18b …and He hardens whom He desires.

Whom does God desire to harden? It is not a mystery or a hidden secret. God has revealed His will to us in James 4:6.

James 4:6b …Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

The literal Greek in the screen print below shows God is against or He exhibits an expression opposition to the proud.

James 4:6 God opposes the proud

God desires to harden stubborn, prideful people who oppose Him. God sets Himself up in opposition to these prideful people as He opposes them.

We know that God opposed Pharaoh from what God told Moses. God intentionally elevated a stubborn, prideful man to the position of the highest authority in Egypt. God put that stubborn man on the throne. And then He hardened Him for a godly purpose.

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What comes before the Giving? James White and John 6:37

What comes before the Giving? James White and John 6:37

What comes before the Giving in John 6:37? Refutation of Dr. James White

What comes before the Giving in John 6:37?

What comes before the giving in John 6:37? Nothing according to Dr. James White on his October 23, 2017 podcast of the Dividing Line Program (segment starts at 1 hr 2 min 30 second mark). But is James White correct that John 6:37 shows that only unbelievers are given to Jesus? Let’s walk through the context of this verse and compare it to what Dr. White claims is the only proper way to understand this passage.

An important note:

Dr. White defines those who disagree with him as “Anti-Calvinist”, in particular, he identifies a “lady anti-Calvinist”. I appreciate that James White remembers that he reviewed my work on John 6 on the Dividing Line a few years ago. However, for many of us, the term anti-Calvinist is not true or fair. One can vigorously disagree without having an “anti” label attached. Does James White call himself an anti-nonCalvinist? I have never heard him refer to himself that way.

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WIM DVDs are now free on YouTube!

WIM DVDs are now free on YouTube!

Women in Ministry Silenced or Set Free? free on YouTube

My 2006 4-DVD set is now free on YouTube

From 2005 to 2006 I worked really hard on a project that has touched many lives. I did all the research, wrote the script, and then completed the video editing and graphic production. It was a long, hard process, but I am so pleased with the results. The finished DVD project is called Women in Ministry Silenced or Set Free? Recently, I felt compelled by the Lord to give access to a YouTube version for free.  The reason is so that more people who cannot afford to buy the 4 DVD set will have access to the information worldwide. Links to my free YouTube videos are below.

“Women in Ministry Silenced or Set Free?” provides in-context answers for all the passages that seem to limit women’s ability to teach the gospel. There are 7 sections suitable for Bible study groups or personal study. This unique set of videos is fast-paced and visually entertaining. Each disputed Scripture is dealt with thoroughly and decisively to bring the viewer to an understanding of Scripture which connects all relevant Scripture together without contradiction.

Each of the DVDs is listed below with the specific information on each video. Next to the information are links to watch the videos free on YouTube. If you would like to purchase the higher quality DVD version, it is available from the “Add to cart” button at the bottom of this post for only $24.99 plus shipping.

The Information and the Links

Video 1: Introduction, Genesis 1-3 The Designer Knows Best.   Watch this video here.

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Are you better than those who say no?

Are you better than those who say no?

Are you better than those who say no? By Cheryl Schatz on The Giving

Are you better?

Those who believe in Calvinism are quick to accuse those who do not believe the same way. The accusation comes in the form of two questions. The questions that are commonly asked: “Why did you respond positively to the gospel, and your neighbor did not? Are you better than he is?” The implication is that if you believe that God created man a moral agent who can respond positively to God’s offer, this positive response makes you “better” than the one who rejects God.

Breaking down the argument

There are several assumptions in the Calvinist argument that should be tested by the Scripture. In this article, I will present three main assumptions that are hidden underneath the questions “Why did you respond, and your neighbor did not? Are you better than he is?”  Included will be a biblical answer to these challenges.

1. If man freely responds, all are not equal

The first assumption of Calvinism is that if we can respond to God positively, that would mean we must be better than others. Or put another way, if you believe that God created man a moral agent who is able to respond positively to God’s offer of the gospel following the convicting power of the Holy Spirit, and only some respond positively, then all people are not equal, and you are better than the unbeliever. Paul refutes this in Romans 3:9.

Romans 3:9  What then? Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin;

If Paul stated that no one is better than the rest, what biblical precedent would you have to accuse a Christian that he is claiming he is better than others? Better is an indicator of nature. All were created with the same human nature, and all have sinned.

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John 12:32 Does Jesus draw all to Himself?

John 12:32 Does Jesus draw all to Himself?

John 12:32 Draw all men to Myself on The Giving blog by Cheryl Schatz

Does Jesus draw all men to Himself?

In John 12:32 Jesus says that He will draw all men to Himself.

John 12:32 (NASB) “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.”

Are all people drawn to Jesus? We know for sure that not all people come to Jesus because we know that not all will believe in Him. However, Jesus said that He will draw ALL men to Himself. So what does Jesus mean in this context? Let’s look at His words to understand His meaning.

In John 12:27 states the purpose He came is for this hour so although He is troubled He will not ask to be saved from this hour.

John 12:27 (NASB) “Now My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour.

Jesus is speaking to a crowd of unbelievers (see verse 37) and in verse 30 Jesus says that the voice from heaven was for the benefit of this unbelieving crowd.

John 12:30 (NASB) Jesus answered and said, “This voice has not come for My sake, but for your sakes.

John 12:37 (NASB) But though He had performed so many signs before them, yet they were not believing in Him.

Jesus said that He came for this hour. Jesus came to die, yet so many of those who heard Him speak did not believe. They weren’t just unbelieving Jesus, but they did not believe God. Some say that their unbelief was what God predestined for them from all of eternity past. But there is a problem with this view because of the words of Jesus. Jesus speaks about drawing all, not just some. If God did not desire for all to come to faith, then Jesus would never draw all. John 12:32 is a dividing line between truth and error, but to some, it doesn’t make sense because it doesn’t seem to be true.

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Purposeless evil?

Purposeless evil?

 

Purposeless evil The Giving blog by Cheryl Schatz

 

Is there purposeless evil if God did not foreordain all things?

Calvinists often talk about “purposeless evil.” In fact, Dr. James White, a Calvinist apologist from Alpha and Omega Ministries, has stated that if God did not ordain all things including the evil actions of men, then evil has no purpose. Dr. White gives Isaiah 41:22, Genesis 50:20, and Acts 2:23 as proof that God ordains evil. Dr. White says that everything is for God’s ultimate glory so that there is no purposeless evil. But are these verses really saying that God ordains all evil acts of men? This post will address the three texts that Dr. White proposes as proof that God ordains all things including all evil.

Isaiah 41:22

Isaiah 41:22 (NASB) Let them bring forth and declare to us what is going to take place; As for the former events, declare what they were, That we may consider them and know their outcome. Or announce to us what is coming;

When Dr. James White debates God’s Sovereignty he appeals to Isaiah 41:22 to prove that God ordains all evil actions. Dr. White says that the words “know their outcome” (in Isaiah 41:22) means to “know their purpose.” He uses “purpose” as a synonym for “outcome,” but “purpose” cannot be exchanged with the word “outcome.” That would completely change God’s meaning.

Isaiah 41:22 on The Giving blog by Cheryl Schatz

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The flesh profits nothing John 6:63

The flesh profits nothing John 6:63

The flesh profits nothing John 6:63 The giving blog by Cheryl Schatz

 

John 6:63 The Flesh Profits nothing 

What does Jesus mean when He says “the flesh profits nothing”? There are several different meanings for “flesh” so to understand what Jesus means, let’s first understand the rest of His saying so we can gain the intended contrast He has in mind.

John 6:63 “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.

Jesus identifies who gives life. It is the Spirit who gives life. The Father gives life and the Holy Spirit gives life. Does Jesus also give life?

The Spirit Gives Life

Jesus said in John 4 –

John 4:14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”

Jesus said, “I WILL give him.” What will Jesus give? Jesus will give eternal life. Jesus said the same thing again in John 6.

John 6:27 “Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal.”

Jesus said that He will give eternal life to the crowd. What kind of life is He giving to the crowd? Jesus is giving eternal life. However, the way Jesus would give them eternal life is embedded in His use of the term “came down from Heaven.” It was the “who” not the “what” that came down from Heaven, that will provide eternal life.

Jesus is the life-giving spirit. 1 Corinthians 15 shows that Adam at his beginning became a living soul, but Jesus as the last Adam, came in the beginning as something more..

1 Corinthians 15:45 So also it is written, “The first MAN, Adam, BECAME A LIVING SOUL.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

The Words are Life

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