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An argument that is frequently heard by "Arminianists" and some modern "Evangelicals" is that while God OFFERS and CALLS us to salvation, we MUST decide and choose and embrace it.

The usual "LOGICAL" argument is that in a few cases, Scripture CALLS the dead to faith.... and thus the dead MUST be able to respond to that call or it makes no sense for them to be called to it. IMO, this makes no sense logically (and it is purely an argument supposedly from human logic - they admit NO Scripture remotely says this) and it's not Scriptural.



Consider, for example, this Scripture known to all of us.... Let's look at this example: John 11:38-44


38 Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it.

39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days.”

40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?”

41 So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me.

42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.”

43 When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.”

44 The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”




Now, let's unpack the verbatim words here.....


1. Lazarus was DEAD. Just as Scripture says all those without faith are dead. Lazarus (like the unregenerate) was deader than a doorknob. He "stunk" like unregenerate people, lol.

2. In verse 43, Jesus CALLS him, CALLS this dead man to come out of the tomb. There is a clear, obvious, undenial CALL here. Lazarus was commanded to do something.

3. The premise is that if one is CALLED to something, that one THEREFORE must be able to RESPOND to the call. But did dead Lazarus give himself life? Did he raise himself from the dead? Is it a case that dead Lazarus - being able to hear God, desiring to please God, considering Jesus His Lord - was obedient and did as Jesus told him to do? Thus, there's no divine miracle here.... no grace here.... nothing is GIVEN..... rather, dead Lazarus was able to do what he was called on to do, Lazarus had life because he had free choice to create it, he was obedient, he made the right choice and gave himself life? OR did Jesus perform a pure miracle here (one our human brains can't explain, one our human logic and philosophy and science can't explain), Jesus GAVE this dead man life, pure grace?


IMO, this argument that we read here at CH.... that I read so much in Christian books and on Christian websites and hear on Christian radio... that BECAUSE the dead are CALLED to faith, ERGO they must be able to respond to it, to do it..... these dead ones must be able to cause themselves to believe, to come to life, to have faith..... IMO, the whole popular premise is illogical and unbiblical. Sometimes, God gives. There is God's GRACE (His unmerited, unearned, free gift). I believe Lazarus (while called) nonetheless passively received a miracle of grace, purely an act of Jesus. I don't deny that there are a few verses where the dead/unregenerate are called to faith (not to be confused with CHRISTIANS being called to greater or more focused faith). What I deny as both illogical and unbiblical is that THEREFORE it is MANDATED that the one called MUST be able to do what he is called to do (even if empowered by God). I believe there is a dynamic at work here: GRACE. God's unmerited, unearned, free GIFT. Sometimes God GIVES us what we need. Gives. Because He unconditionally loves us. Because we need it - or just He wishes to bless us with it.


Agree? Disagree?



Soli Deo Gloria



- Josiah