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June 13, 2016

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The following passage shows that God did not intend for the Gospel to go in all directions, at least at the time written.

“And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily. Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia,” (Acts 16:5–6)

Dave, that only works if we think the Paul (and friends) could have preached to every nation in under 40 or so years.

In short, it raises the same question and does not answer it.

It seems the answer to this question is answered by God’s Act which just won’t fail, won’t be incomplete. So, at the end of the day, it’s all a matter of the nature of atonement.

If [A] atonement is limited, then we need not assert that Time and Circumstance are too much for the reach of God. If [B] atonement is for all men, then problem solved and we leave it to others to assert that Time and Circumstance are too much for God. Abraham trusts, believes, prior to the resurrection. Those of the mindset of [A] must claim, therefore, either [1] Abraham could not do so prior to the resurrection and so it really wasn’t true and Hebrews 11 got it wrong, or [2] it was a con, or [3] Time and Circumstance really are no match for the reach of God after all, or [4] the resurrection does not restore volition, but rather (finally) opens the Door only God can open – which is Himself – which He opens in and by His love’s reciprocity (Christ), which is that Door upon which so many (Hebrews 11) had been knocking on their whole life long (Hebrews 11 meant what it said).

Those of the mindset of [B] find symmetry through and through not only the OT, but also Romans 1 and far more. But really 1, 2, 3, and 4 are all secondary to whether we claim [A] or [B], neither of which faces any “problem” on this question of time and circumstance.

Lastly, there is something very obvious here: If it is in fact [B], then this: THINK. Does God set about [B] and then either *doesn’t* or else *can’t* follow through? Of course not. How absurd. Think BIG. We are too often overwhelmed by creation and think and speak as if such a frail and mutable thing is all too much for God.

The main point of this comment is that the question of time and circumstance is not “problematic” in and of itself and that, it seems, we answer *it* when we answer the question of the reach of *atonement*.


Of course, telling me to go over and talk to A now, and not B now, isn't relevant given that Paul was not the "only person spreading the Good News". Wow. If Paul was the ONLY person telling folks about Christ..... well....

But, again, back to the earlier comment:

The main point of this comment is that the question of time and circumstance is not “problematic” in and of itself and that, it seems, we answer *it* when we answer the question of the reach of *atonement*.

Dave,

I would say that the physical limitations of men can reasonably be used as good evidence for limited atonement. I didn't mean to argue for/against limited atonement. Both have their advocates and both are reasoned through fairly well, with the obvious divergence etc. Obviously I don't see the limitations of men as restrictive upon the reach of God, especially if the atonement isn't limited. But the question of atonement is another topic. Rather, the main point is God's consistency, power, reach, and love. It seems the question of atonement answers the question in the opening piece.

“And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily.

Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia,

and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia,” (Acts 16:5–6)

Does every universal truth need to have equal geographical distribution?

This is the stupidest question or objection that could be raised against Christianity.

Dave,

It presents the same problem, rather than answering it.

Jesus tells us to go into the whole world.

Paul can't go everywhere. Read the earlier verses. The chapter is about Paul and his journey. I think Timothy was with him.

"Yeah, on the one hand you think, Wow! You mean God doesn’t love the Asians, and He didn’t want the gospel preached there? It’s a matter of time. You can’t preach the gospel everywhere on this earth, there are some priorities. The gospel will go to Asia, in fact, the disciples were told by Jesus: Go into all the world and preach the gospel, but there were some other priorities. God wanted them to go somewhere else right at that moment instead of into Asia. It wasn’t that they were cutting Asia out of salvation, but it’s just a matter of where you are going to go first."

Acts 16 isn't about every believer.

It's about Paul.

Which is fine.

But it doesn't answer the question. It only restates it.

Acts 19:10

10 And this continued for two years, so that all who dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.


Acts 20:4

4 And Sopater of Berea accompanied him to Asia—also Aristarchus and Secundus of the Thessalonians, and Gaius of Derbe, and Timothy, and Tychicus and Trophimus of Asia....

1 Corinthians 16:19

19 The churches of Asia greet you. Aquila and Priscilla greet you heartily in the Lord, with the church that is in their house...

____________


But none of that answers the question.

Kpolo,

It is a silly question. Was the nuance of mathematics only "valid" in its initial circles of ripples spreading outward......

It's a silly metric of truth/falsehood.

Our Non-Theist friends need SOMETHING to do :-)

“After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not.” (Acts 16:7)

Dave,

That certainly is true.

Even today it's like that.

We *know* everybody in the world didn't hear the Gospel in that first 50 years (etc.).

But....

It isn't connected to the question of [1] truth being false if and when it's not known by "everyone all the time", and to [2] the questions I raised esrlier.

In fact, again, still today men are led to "place A" and led away from "place B".

It's always been that way.

Even with Israel and the rest of the world in the OT.

Certainly this isn't new information.

“Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only.” (Acts 11:19)

“Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.” (Matthew 21:43)

“So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.” (Romans 9:16)

I'm with kpolo on this one.

Right now, today, there are probably elementary logical truths that have different acceptance in different places.

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