Conversing With A Dispensationalist







The following is a conversation I had with a Dispensationalist on Twitter. The conversation began after I tweeted a quote by Charles Spurgeon. 


Enjoy. =)
———————————————————————————
Quote by Spurgeon: “‘If the natural men has free will to believe the gospel, then why does he need grace?’ – Spurgeon”


Dispensationalist: To answer Charlie: man needs grace to be saved, but he believes the gospel by exercising the faith ever man is given


Men choose or reject Christ in their own free will. The one’s that reject Christ do so because they reject the light that God gives ever man that comes into the world – Jn. 1:9 & Rom. 1:19-21



(In order to avoid confusion- I will now highlight his writing in Red when I respond, and when he responds, my writing shall be in Blue) 

My Response: You are absolutely right about everything you said, IF you are looking at scripture through Dispensational glasses. Here are some things you are wrong about:


You said: Yes every man is given a measure of faith: Rom 12:3 & Hab. 2:4 & Heb. 11. 

First, Romans 12:3 is about the church- verse four and five gives that away when it says:

4 ” For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:

5 “So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.”- KJV

Hebrews 11 speaks on the faith of God’s people. It says nothing about all men being given a measure of faith. 

Hab 2:4 says that “the just shall live by Faith”. How does this support your assertion that all men are given a measure of faith? It doesn’t. 

You said: I will remind you that OT faith is not the same as NT faith. There are 2 faith’s in play in this age while only 1 was in play prior to Acts 2.

Response: Says who?


You said: “everybody in Heb. 11 exercised faith, yet NONE of them exercised faith in the Lord Jesus Christ: because they had no idea who Jesus Christ was.”
Wrong. Jesus says it himself in the following verses. 

John 8:56-58: “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he SAW IT, and was glad.” 57 Then said the Jews unto him, “Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?” 58 Jesus said unto them, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.” (caps mine)

Further, the gospel was preached to Abraham:

And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.- Galatians 3:8

More proof:

3For what does the Scripture say? “And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.”

4Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.

5But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

6Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,

7Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.

8Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin. – Romans 4:3-8

Abraham knew who Jesus was. Perhaps not by name, but he knew the coming Messiah. Salvation has always been by grace through faith alone. Romans 3 says that no one will be declared righteous by observing the law. The promise was made early on in Genesis 3:15. There would be a coming Messiah who would save people from their sins. Their hope- the saints in Hebrews 11- was in the work of that coming Messiah. Not in any merits of their own. 

You said: Men choose or reject Christ in their own free will. The one’s that reject Christ do so because they reject the light that God gives ever man that comes into the world – Jn. 1:9 & Rom. 1:19-21.
How does that make any sense? If I told you, Peter doesn’t choose to wear the red shirt, because he rejects the shirt, that doesn’t say much, does it? The question is WHY do they reject Christ? Well, they reject Christ because men love the darkness because their deeds were evil (that is what John 3:19 says). That says something about their nature. It is because men innately hate God that they reject Him. 


Dispensationalist’s Second Response: 

Sorry i missed your initial response.

You are correct that I rightly divide the bible: otherwise I would gardening naked, building an ark, and taking animal sacrifices to a temple in Jerusalem doesn’t exist.

I’m not sure what you mean when you say Rom 12:3 is about the church: if you follow the context beginning in verse 1 of that chapter all the way through it is about members of the body and their conduct. So it is talking about the church in that it is speaking about the individual members of his body.

You said: Hab 2:4 says that “the just shall live by Faith”. How does this support your assertion that all men are given a measure of faith? It doesn’t. 

You must not be reading from the AV: Hab. 2:4 reads :”the just shall live by >>>his<<< faith." In the OT, men had their own faith and their own righteousness (which is why you will find people mentioned as being righteous in the OT such as John the Baptist's parents): that is how they were to live. So all those people in Heb. 11 exercised their own faith which is different than the faith you and I have. The OT saint's faith must be exhibited by works (which is why in Heb. 11 you read "by faith somebody did something": see also James 2) and those faith and works must be kept unto the end of their life (Ezek 3:20-21, Ezek 18:20-24) In the NT there are 2 kinds of faith: my faith and the faith of the Son of God. the reason a born again Christian has eternal security is because we are saved by the faith of Jesus Christ (Gal 2:20) and since his faith cannot and did not fail we are sealed unto the day of redemption (Eph 4:30) awaiting the redemption of the body (Rom 8:23). This transition from OT faith to NT faith is what Paul is referring to in Rom 1:17 when he says "from faith (OT) to faith (NT). God's righteousness after Calvary is found in Christ: and you get that righteousness imputed to you upon belief of Paul's gospel and sanctification of the Spirit. OT righteousness is found in obeying the commands of the law to the end which would be an outworking of your faith (Phil. 3:9 & Lk. 1:6)

You said: You said: “everybody in Heb. 11 exercised faith, yet NONE of them exercised faith in the Lord Jesus Christ: because they had no idea who Jesus Christ was.”

Wrong. Jesus says it himself in the following verses.

John 8:56-58: “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he SAW IT, and was glad.” 57 Then said the Jews unto him, “Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?” 58 Jesus said unto them, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.” (caps mine)

Further, the gospel was preached to Abraham:

And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.- Galatians 3:8″


Again the error here is one of right division: what did Abraham see in Gen. 22? Also read carefully from John’s gospel: it does not say “Abraham saw me and knew my name” it says Abraham saw “his day.” Keep in mind: Jesus is speaking to the Jews. So what day is he talking about? The day of the Lord. The key phrases to heed in Gen 22:4-5 are: “third day” and “come again to you.” How are Abraham and Isaac going to come again if Abraham is expecting to sacrifice his son? Your assumption (as well as many Baptists that teach the heresy that everybody was always saved the same way) is that God showed Abraham a vision of Jesus on the cross; or something like that. Christ’s day is the day he reigns on David’s throne (which Abraham doesn’t know about either) and that day will happen with a national resurrection of Israel on the third day (Hos. 6:2). What Abraham saw was a type of resurrection of his seed ie Israel. Furthermore: the Gospel that was preached unto Abraham was not Paul’s gospel as Paul’s gospel was revealed to Paul and not before that (Gal. 1:11-12). If gospel preached to Abraham is the gospel of Gen 12:1-3 which contains the promise of a seed and land: not the death, burial, and resurrection. Also remember there are 7 gospels in scripture; 4 major ones in the NT: Kingdom or Heaven, Kingdom of God, Grace of God, Everlasting. These are not all the same. If you think they are all the same you will be confused.

Abraham may have known about a coming messiah (since Eve knew this back in Gen. 3), but certainly not by name and certainly not with the depth of revelation later revealed. Abraham was long dead before anyone knew about 12 tribes, Israel, a king from Judah, a kingdom, a virgin birth, 2 comings of Christ, etc. this is why even today Jews have such a problem: when you read the OT the 1st & 2nd coming are often mentioned side by side as if they were simultaneous events. When the Messiah showed up they were looking for someone to deliver them from the Romans not someone to die on the cross. This is why Paul’s mystery of the one body is nowhere to be found in Daniel’s 70 weeks. As further proof, remember the disciples: how many times did Christ tell them point blank about his passion? Yet they didn’t get it. Why? The answer is found in Lk. 9:45 & 18:34: the key phrase “hid from them.” So if you contend that the apostles were saved before Jesus was on the cross, they weren’t saved by believing the gospel of 1 Cor 15:3-4. not to mention in Mat 16 Peter rebukes Jesus for saying he’s going to the cross, and even after the resurrection happened they still didn’t get it until Jesus opened their understanding in Lk 24.

In reference again to Gen 3: one problem we have today is assuming that because something is mentioned at a certain point of scripture, that those people knew what we know today: this is wrong. In Gen 3, all that is said is the woman will have a child that will crush the head of the serpent. To assume Eve knew that this seed was going to be virgin born from the tribe of judah of Israel, die on a cross and resurrect the third day is unfounded in scripture.

You said: “How does that make any sense? If I told you, Peter doesn’t choose to wear the red shirt, because he rejects the shirt, that doesn’t say much, does it? The question is WHY do they reject Christ? Well, they reject Christ because men love the darkness because their deeds were evil (that is what John 3:19 says). That says something about their nature. It is because men innately hate God that they reject Him.”
One of the things i run into w/ Calvinists a lot is the use of logic: How does it make sense is an irrelevant question. it doesn’t have to make sense to our finite minds. You are correct in that men love darkness. However you miss the first part. All men are given light: ALL. And as Paul says in Romans:

Romans 1:19-21 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them(this is on the inside); for God hath shewed it unto them (they had a knowledge in them). For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse(God also gave them the witness of creation leaving them 2 witnesses of God, hence thay are w/out excuse): Because that, when they knew God (there was a time when they knew God), they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened (their heart was darkened after they chose not to glorify God, and so forth). 

Although we all have the sin nature: we are not actually sinners until we commit a sin: that is we do something that we know violates God’s law: this is why children go to heaven if they die, or as Paul says Rom. 7:9. The more they violate their conscience, the more it is seared, their heart and understanding darkened to the point that God will give them over and give them what they want; just as the lying spirit sent to the false prophets in the OT.

As you said earlier, I do practice the biblical command to rightly divide the scripture and I assume you hold to a covenant theology. This is the true reason we cannot come together. But I enjoyed the cordial conversation. God Bless.

–Since my opponent was dismissive, and espoused nothing new except the massive confusion that is Dispensationalism, I will post my response here– 


My Response: 


You are correct that I rightly divide the bible


1) I never said that his was the biblical position, rather, that IF you are looking at scripture through Dispensational eyes, then yes, the confusion espoused above makes perfect sense.


2) He was not able to prove that faith is something all men have. Now, let me be clear: All men have faith in something (idols), to that I concede. But, not all men are given faith to believe upon Christ. Faith upon Christ is something a man in his natural, carnal, God hating state, could never have (1 Cor 2:14). Faith is a gift to God’s elect (Philippians 1:29)


OT righteousness is found in obeying the commands of the law to the end which would be an outworking of your faith (Phil. 3:9 & Lk. 1:6)


3) The Old Testament saints were not justified by their obedience to the law (no one will be justified before God by keeping their law, since keeping the law perfectly is an impossibility). Romans  three, verse twenty says this exact thing:


For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.”(Romans 3:20 ESV)


4) I am not saying that the Old Testament saints had perfect knowledge concerning the coming Messiah. What I am saying is– they trusted in God’s promise to give them a Messiah- their’s was not a righteousness attained by works, rather, by believing upon the works of Him who was to come. 


1st Peter 1:10-11 


Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully,(11) inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. 


One of the things i run into w/ Calvinists a lot is the use of logic: How does it make sense is an irrelevant question.



5) Oh, I am glad that we have someone who admits that Calvinists are logical (this implies that non-calvinists are illogical).
But, following that admission we have a statement that says that making sense (or using logic) is irrelevant. I can see why making sense would be difficult- given the unbiblical system of theology that divides scripture, and sets different standards for different people at different times. Since, making sense is irrelevant to my opponent, I can finally admit that I believe Space Cows inhabit Mars. 


Furthermore: the Gospel that was preached unto Abraham was not Paul’s gospel as Paul’s gospel was revealed to Paul and not before that (Gal. 1:11-12). 


6)  The isn’t what the verse cited says. The verse cited does say that the Gospel was revealed to Paul by God (Paul is emphasizing to the Galatians that the Gospel is of divine origin and not of human invention), but it does not say that it was not revealed before that. Actually, if we look at the verse I originally cited, Paul says that it was the GOSPEL that was preached to Abraham (Galatians 3:8). Why is my opponent forced to believe it is a different gospel? Because it doesn’t work with his system.


7) Since logic isn’t relevant, and my opponent pretty much admitted that Calvinists are logical (both statements made by my opponent)- it seems in vain to attempt to reason with him on Calvinism. Truth of the matter is that God is sovereign, and will not share His glory with men. Salvation is completely a work of God, by grace through faith, and not of works that no man may boast. Amen. 


-Awretchsaved

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About lalvin1517

I'm married with two children and pastor McCall Baptist Church in McCall, Idaho.
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