Thursday, March 19, 2009

Solomon's prayer

1 Kings 8:22-53 records a prayer King Solomon said to dedicate the completed temple to God. It is a beautiful prayer, and one part in particular stood out in regards to the Arminan/Calvinist debate.

Starting in verse 41 Solomon prays for foreigners of Israel (remember, Israel is a type of the modern church, so he is praying for the non-elect) to hear of God's great name and His strong hand etc. He also prays, "hear in heaven Your dwelling place, and do according to all for which the foreigner calls to You, that ALL PEOPLES OF THE EARTH may know Your name and fear You, as do Your people Israel, and that they may know that this temple which I have built is called by Your name" (1 Kings 8:43 emphasis mine).

This scripture was inspired by the Holy God of Israel, so that means God inspired Solomon to pray for all people on earth? Why would He do that? Because His love extends to all people everywhere. God allows us to either accept the grace and forgivness he offers, or to reject it. Tragically, those who choose to reject this free gift are not forgiven and must be punished by a holy and righteous God. That is not because God has decreed that they, under no circumstace, could ever come to Him, but because of the hardness of their own hearts. Every person on the planet has the ability, when presented with the gospel, to come to Christ. It is their own fault if they are sent to an eternal punishment.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Early Church and Free Will

I ran across an  interesting exposé on the internet detailing some of the teachings of the early church fathers on free will. Very very interesting.