jlay wrote:Really? You really think that? I know you don't go around telling people that. But deep down you believe it. Or you are forced to come up with bizarre (pardon the emotionalism) explanations like everyone you come in contact with is elect. It may not be a problem for you, but I've yet to see it refuted. If you are a 5 point Calvin, then you believe that the Gospel isn't universal. You may think it should be presented universal, but you don't believe it is. It is limited, only for the elect. And the reprobate can't, and won't hear it. They are branded for condemnation, and in actuality we should commend them for rejecting it, because that is exactly how they were predestined to respond. And therefore presenting the gospel universally is asking the reprobate to do something they can not do, and thus believe a lie. The lie being that Christ died for them, when He didn't. Now, if you can look at someone and say, Christ died for your sins, when you know in your heart of hearts, you don't really believe it. You believe, He MIGHT have died for their sins, only if they meet the determined view of election within Calvinism.
But you don't believe the atonement is universal either, unless you are a universalist, which I know you are not. Even if you define the elect as "those who choose to believe", then you are not free from the extent of the atonement only being for those who believe, and those that don't believe going to hell, no matter our reasoning.
I am confused on one thing here...and excuse my ignorance, but you seem to conflate the gospel and the atonement. The gospel is the message of the atonement among other things, but it is not the atonement itself. Like I posted earlier, the atonement is described in Heb 7-10 in great detail. It has nothing to do with what we do with it, it is the finished, once for all work of Christ on the cross. That would not change one bit whether we shout it from the rooftops, or no-one ever hears about it.
The fact that we go out and offer it to everyone stands separate from that act of Christ. And pardon me if I think this is a bit disingenuous, but saying that we believe we are lying when we proclaim the gospel is simply not true. You can choose to believe us or not, that is your prerogative. But unless you are a universalist, or want to change what atonement means, you fail by the same standard that you put on us.
It's not like your message doesn't have flaws too:
Should we then argue that under the universal atonement way, we are to tell people that they are sinners, they need a Savior, God has sent a missionary or evangelist across their path, God even gave them grace to help them understand that, but if they don't choose right
, God, who is the Almighty Creator and sustainer of the universe, who is so loving that He sacrificed His Son, and is standing here calling with a gospel message is going to go "Well, ok then, good luck in hell, and that whole dying on the cross thing of My Son? No biggie if it doesn't work for you." How is that any better or more loving, or more honest? It's like an EMT looking at a heart attack patient and refusing to put the paddles on because the victim doesn't say it is ok to do so, even if he is in cardiac arrest.
I don't think you believe that either, but that is what it looks like when we apply the same standard.