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Thread: God hardens hearts?

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    God hardens hearts?

    I read in Exodus of God hardening the Pharaoh's heart. I've read other scriptures that state that The Lord God hardened hearts, blinded eyes, and deafened ears. So how does this figure into "God doesn't desire any to perish, but that all should be saved"? Does God pick winners and losers?

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    If my salvation was 'established before the foundations of the Earth' - before there was light and air, then all else was as well? God's view is eternal, ours is temporal. God knows winners and losers, but we have the chance to say no to Him. We don't understand Him. God allowed Israel to be defeated by Syria so that Naaman could hear about Elisha from a captured slave girl, go to Israel to be healed, and for God to show His grace is free - we can do nothing to earn it.

    The more I try to understand God and His choices the more confused I get. I stay solid on His grace and mercy and trust Him.
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    Moses performed miracles to show that he was actually speaking for God. The miracles also showed that God had power. The miracles started off as subtle and got much stronger as the confrontation progressed.

    At first when miracles were performed, pharaoh hardened or strengthened his own heart. Pharaoh at first knew the signs meant that he should comply, but afterwards he was able to ignore them. Perhaps he wrote them off to coincidence or trickery.

    As the miracles became more profound and numerous, pharaoh was confronted with irrefutable proof of God's will and power. It became impossible to ignore and he could no longer harden his own heart. But because pharaoh desired to ignore the proof, God did what pharaoh could not do. He first strengthened and then hardened pharoah's heart. God honored pharoah's free-will which was slowly being taken away by the miraculous.
    Last edited by Ickisrulz; 10-08-2018 at 09:00 AM.

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    God doesn't harden anyone's hearts, though there's no doubt in my mind that he COULD if he wanted to. But he allows hearts to become hardened. I'm not entirely sure which scenario applies to the Pharoah. Remember, the Bible IS a translation, and certain passages don't always translate quite perfectly. But whatever the case, I can't imagine fully God doing the hardening. Ol' Pharoah was pretty good at hardening his heart in his own right, after all. Most folks don't notice much the fact that wondrous "miracles" were taken very much to heart back then, and believed in wholeheartedly by most. Pharoah was angry at the Jews' God for taking his son's life, and for making him look bad (second fiddle). We err, I think, when we take every word in the Bible as "Divine revelation," and forget it's a translation. Often, we need to look for "the rest of the story," as Paul Harvey used to call it, in order to really understand the Bible better and more consistently. The Bible is always consistent. Our interpretations of it? Ummm .... not so much. Like most everything, we have to work at interpretation in order to get it right, and that's a lot of hard work, and CAN at times be confusing and frustrating. But it's what's needed, all complaints notwithstanding. And I for one am just happy to have a chance to learn about things I've been reading all my life. Reading isn't learning. Only knowledge can lead us to understanding, and knowledge always comes more slowly than we want it to. But ..... it's always worth it. So VERY worth it!

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy Newboy's Avatar
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    God hardens hearts?

    So ... the Bible says God hardened the heart, blinded their eyes, etc., but now you say, that He didnít. I prefer to believe the Word instead of you.

    Here is a thought. Read the Bible, and develope your beliefs around that. Too often we manipulate the Bible to fit our preconceived theology.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    Many people do not want to accept double predestination. If you read Romans 9-the end you will see that it is clearly stated that God chooses who He will and thus chooses against the rest. There is no such thing logically as single predestination anyway, if God chooses whom He will those left are not chosen - thus double predestination. Jesus said that he died for those whom the Father had given him, and He would not let them out of His hand. In fact the idea of a remnant of believers is though out the Bible. It is not the majority who choose God, it is the majority who choose against Him.

    So, yes God hardened the Pharoh's heart because that heart was already decided against Him.
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  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
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    If God wants all to be saved, then why would the scriptures say in Romans 9:17 the reason Pharaoh was raised up was for this purpose? The next verse plainly says, he (God) had mercy on who he will, or hardens them?

    If we evangelize, are we not just calling out those whom God would show mercy on? After all, pharaoh was given a choice, even if he wasn't allowed to follow the good one.

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    Boolit Master

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    Only God knows those whom He has called. We evangelize because we don't know - and can't know. You appear to be struggling with the concept of the Sovereignty of God. God is sovereign - we cannot question His decisions - only use them to try to understand Him better.

    If you are a reader download A.W. Pink's The Sovereignty of God - it will answer a lot of your questions with scripture.
    Wayne the Shrink

    There is no 'right' that requires me to work for you or you to work for me!

  9. #9
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    I'm not struggling,(after all this is for theological discussions) but it seems that many, perhaps even most Christians are under the impression that everyone can be saved. Perhaps on the most fundamental basis that is true, many will be called, yet few will be chosen. So God has chosen the foolishness of preaching "evangelizing" to call out his chosen. The sheep know the shephard's voice and follow.

    As for myself and God's sovereignty. If he should choose to condemn me, I've earned it, but if I'm only a beggar picking up crumbs in his kingdom it's by his grace and mercy! Amen

  10. #10
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    Romans chapter 9 does not say anything about God choosing who will be saved and who will be lost. It talks about God making selections so his goals could be achieved on the earth. Pharaoh was the one that made the choices he did. God made sure he was in control of Egypt during the Exodus so that he could show his power to Israel via the plaques.

    "What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory" (Ro 9:22–23).

    Again, because of pharoah's personal choices and rejection of God he was "prepared for destruction." However, rather than remove him from this earth immediately, God exercised patience in dealing with him for the purpose of showing his power to Israel.

    Chapter 10 talks about spreading the Gospel within the nation of Israel even though they have rejected God's previous attempts at getting their attention. The only reason a remnant of Israel would be saved is that they will believe. The people who are lost have only themselves to blame.

    When running across passages that suggest predestination, it is important to understand God's foreknowledge is not the cause of people being lost. Also, the effect of hearing God's word is not always positive. Some people hear and believe while others hear and harden their hearts against it.

    One more point: In chapter 9 we see a specific line from Abraham was selected to bring the revelation of God to man. This line became Israel. But it is very important to realize that the selection of this line was not to the exclusion of other people of nations. Anyone could join the nation of Israel and properly worship Israel's God.

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy
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    Very good discussion, thank you.

    God does indeed seem to tolerate a lot, doesn't he?

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    Boolit Master WILCO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thundarstick View Post
    I read in Exodus of God hardening the Pharaoh's heart. I've read other scriptures that state that The Lord God hardened hearts, blinded eyes, and deafened ears. So how does this figure into "God doesn't desire any to perish, but that all should be saved"? Does God pick winners and losers?
    Old Testament. New Testament matters most.
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  13. #13
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    "Many are called, but few are chosen" comes from a parable Jesus told to describe the Gospel offer initially to the Jews and then the Gentiles (Matt 22). The "call" goes out to everyone indiscriminately.

    However, in the parable, a wedding feast guest comes unprepared and is ejected. This guest was called and came to the feast, but he was not "chosen". The reason he was not chosen is he did not come to the feast wearing the required wedding garment. He did not prepare himself after hearing the call. This was something he did rather than an arbitrary choice made by God.

    There are lots of people in churches and and the general population that even though they believe the truth of the Gospel, they have not drawn close to God in faith and repentance making their salvation effective. These people have not prepared themselves and will not be "chosen."

    Saving faith is more than just mental assent. That comes first while hearing the "call." The next step is action on the part of the believer. This results in being "chosen."

  14. #14
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by WILCO View Post
    Old Testament. New Testament matters most.
    The incident with the pharaoh in Exodus is revisited by Paul in his letter to the Romans. In order to understand what Paul is saying we have to look at the original account contained in the Old Testament.

    The Old Testament is not without value to the New Testament believer. It shows the character of God. Additional, the Old Testament was Jesus' main source for much of his teaching.

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy
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    So then pharaoh thought himself a god, and as such made the statement, "so who is this God of Israel that I should listen to him?". So God started showing his power to the god pharaoh, pushing his buttons each time so that the pharaoh became more and more determined to win this, "battle of the gods". So God did indeed harden his heart because the pharaoh was in a no win situation, even if he didn't know it.

    Would it be possible then for us to harden an unbelievers heart by constantly pushing their buttons on religion? Of course if you are predestined to condemnation or salvation that wouldn't be possible, and God doesn't desire that everyone be saved??

  16. #16
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thundarstick View Post
    So then pharaoh thought himself a god, and as such made the statement, "so who is this God of Israel that I should listen to him?". So God started showing his power to the god pharaoh, pushing his buttons each time so that the pharaoh became more and more determined to win this, "battle of the gods". So God did indeed harden his heart because the pharaoh was in a no win situation, even if he didn't know it.

    Would it be possible then for us to harden an unbelievers heart by constantly pushing their buttons on religion? Of course if you are predestined to condemnation or salvation that wouldn't be possible, and God doesn't desire that everyone be saved??
    Pharaoh had as much opportunity to believe as anyone else, even more so. He chose not to for whatever reason. There were Egyptians that joined Israel in the Exodus. Those people believed what they had seen and heard and acted on it. (Of course some did cause problems in the desert.)

    Many people have a negative view of Christianity because of what they see Christians doing or saying. It is possible to drive people away. Jesus warned his followers about causing others to stumble. Paul did too.

    The whole idea of predestination (saved or lost) is contrary to God's character and Jesus' teaching as I understand them.

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy Newboy's Avatar
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    The whole idea of predestination (saved or lost) is contrary to God's character and Jesus' teaching as I understand them.[/QUOTE]


    Keep reading and praying, and God may teach you something.



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

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    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Newboy View Post
    The whole idea of predestination (saved or lost) is contrary to God's character and Jesus' teaching as I understand them.

    Keep reading and praying, and God may teach you something.



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro[/QUOTE]

    I am pretty familiar with the doctrine of predestination: God foreordains who will be saved and who will be lost regardless of what these individuals do.

    I reject this notion because of the Bible's emphasis on choice and free-will in regard to a relationship with God (e.g., "whosoever" in Jn 3:16). The passages that are used to support the idea of predestination are few and can be adequately explained without resorting to claiming God is unfair.

    The Bible emphasizes that God is only motivated by his love for people. I cannot reconcile how a person motivated by love could arbitrarily pick people for salvation or destruction based on anything but his sovereignty. It isn't fair system or a loving practice.

    If you are a believer in predestination, that is fine with me. But to say that all I need to do is read and pray more so God may teach me how wrong I am makes you look condescending.

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    Here we have a good example of why it's so difficult to discuss theology. Some believe one thing, and are haughty enough to think those who don't believe the same way are wicked or evil, and it's just not so! CHrist encouraged us to read and study, and studying involves discussion with others. He also promised that if we'd seek, we'd find. But what he left out is that if we want and intend to find vaidation of what we already think or believe, then that's what we'll find. Or if we read and study looking for excuses for ourselves and our actions, then THAT is what we'll find in that case. ONLY those who read and study and discuss with the intent and determination to find the simple Truth, will find what Christ's will truly is for them. And it's a lifelong refining process, and that means that we never get it "ALL." Not a one among us! Diligence and simple, humble honesty is the key to understanding, and receiving revelations of what is meant by what Christ left for us to read and study and think about. Those who want quick, simple, pat, easy answers tend to be literalists. Those who want to know ALL that Christ tried so hard to teach us, tend to be open to both literal and figurative interpretations. Personally, I believe every verse in the Bible has more than one meaning, depending on one's current situation and point of perspective. And why wouldn't that be a good thing, when our experiences and situations are so widely varied on a daily basis???

    I enjoy hearing others' ideas, but some I don't understand. A few, I don't think there IS an understanding for, really. But every idea expressed an have certain value if we simply listen with our hearts AND our minds. How could Christ have left us a more miraculous body of text to study and enjoy than if this is true??? I never assume I have THE key to understanding all there is in it, simply because I'm humbly aware that I DON'T have it all understood. But I'm grateful for what I have, and I'm open to learning more - as much as I possibly can. Some folks help me with that. Some don't. I suspect it's much the same for us all???

  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy
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    Blackwater, there's a lot I can agree with you on. Matter of fact there is allot I can agree with in many post. I enjoy hearing what others think, and understand, and why they think the way they do. As I explained to a young brother who's struggling with some others in his congregation, being a Christian is a walk with Christ, through life. We are not all in the same place, at the same time in our journey, but we all seek to arrive at the same destination. I hope to meet you all in a city of gold some day!

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