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If “no one seeks for God,” why did Paul call his listeners to seek God?

If “no one seeks for God,” why did Paul call his listeners to seek God?


Left to ourselves, we will certainly never ever search forGod Why, after that, does the Lord command individuals to look for Him? From among our Ask R.C. occasions, R.C. Sproul assists us fix up these scriptural facts. Do you have a scriptural or doctrinal concern? We welcome you to ask Ligonier at https://ask.ligonier.org/.
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32 COMMENTS

Mark Ridlen - posted on February 19, 2020 7:11 am

If no one seeks God, how can even the regenerate seek God? The conclusion is that "no one" is speaking in a limited sense and the alternative explanation that "basically no one seeks God except for the few who seek him" is completely plausible, and therefore does not necessitate a Calvinist soteriology ("basically no one seeks God except for the regenerate").

Basil Hendricks - posted on February 19, 2020 1:25 pm

Great message

suporta tabang - posted on February 19, 2020 2:02 pm

Talking about “PROSPERITY GOSPEL”

Rudy - posted on February 19, 2020 5:59 pm

Why is RC Sproul misrepresenting the Pelagian Heresy. And why does every Calvinist just nod like some bobble heads. Pelagianism is heretical not because it states that unregenerates can seek God, but because it denies original sin and the work of work of the cross.

James Conrad - posted on February 19, 2020 7:03 pm

“God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’”

https://ref.ly/Ac17.27-28 via the Logos Bible Android app.

William Bradley - posted on February 19, 2020 7:41 pm

Does anyone know where Edwards talked about the two types of seeking?

Saint Louis Saints - posted on February 19, 2020 9:59 pm

Sproul is wrong, God commands us to do things because we can do all things through Christ. He is just trying to rationalize the heresy of Calvinism

Dwang Critter - posted on February 20, 2020 2:43 am

In most of the first four centuries, this was no great controversy. It was only a controversy when Augustine made it one around 400 ad. This was the gateway to the dark ages.

Chaz Giordano - posted on February 20, 2020 4:30 am

Regeneration precedes faith.

Saint Gundy - posted on February 20, 2020 10:46 am

I cant understand why these criminals cant find a policeman.

M.R. - posted on February 20, 2020 10:57 am

If someone is "seeking" after God, then God must be drawing him already. If they do not find God, then it was them seeking for relief but rejecting God as the answer.

Bob Scruggs - posted on February 20, 2020 2:19 pm

Seems complicated maybe it is just me

izzy israel - posted on February 20, 2020 2:24 pm

the statement that no one seeks after GOD if spoken in abgeneral form…… maybe to those not converted yet……
the truth is no one seeks GOD and rather they are brought……
a new believer may need that extra push to be told to seek after GOD in order to come by the HOLY SPIRIT……
a believer, after already believing, must grow in the body of CHRIST…… in this sense one must further their salvation till they become mature

hey i have something to say - posted on February 20, 2020 9:15 pm

because he endured all things for the elect

Denali 96 - posted on February 21, 2020 11:01 am

Good grief, let’s just say Jesus is not “reformed”…..

Timbeaux C - posted on February 21, 2020 4:09 pm

Ahh, another example of hyper literalism gone wild. Jonathan Edwards was just as deceived. A simple question- how would one even know to go to church if they cannot seek God, and cannot even recognize they need to?

71superbee 3 - posted on February 22, 2020 10:32 am

It ALL begins with the Grace of God ….. without His Grace all perish …

1974jrod - posted on February 22, 2020 11:01 pm

Heretic

Chastity Coach - posted on February 23, 2020 2:15 am

So I am %51 Calvinist or whatever at this point still, but I just want to point out that "no one seeks after God' is a bit of a colloquialism/figure of speech. If I say "America is doomed at this point, they are all a bunch of democratic socialists", then that would be a true statement, because well… it's true. Now, does that mean that every individual in that Country is a Democratic Socialist? Of course not.

"All have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God." -Romans 3:23

What about Jesus? What about young children and babies? What about people with severe disabilities? See, even with exceptions, a verse can be absolutely true still. To say that "All" means "All" in some sort of absurd absolute sense is ridiculous. I think the reformers went into the Greek to find the literal meaning of a figurative phrase, only to get whooshed by the religious philosophies clearly embedded by the other parts of scripture.

We don't have to be a theologian pharisee about every little thing and then deny that it's possible for a man with a sin nature to acknowledge God and then be intellectually convicted and concerned for his soul. Intellectual concern may lead him to humility, and in humility all things are possible with Christ.

The problem is that if we misinterpret a text once, it can mess up our entire theology, and leave us with "That makes no sense" sometimes, like I find myself with Calvinism. While I would almost always lean towards "It means what it says and it says what it means", God and Jesus purposely throw in "I will tear this temple down in 3 days, and build it back up" knowing damn well that it's clear to us that He is talking about a literal temple, when in reality He is not.

I think there is more mystery to scripture than people think, and that the reformers were just really smart men compared to everyone else, trying to be biblical, and that is all they were.

Poppy Bow - posted on February 23, 2020 2:50 pm

Would we believe in Jesus and turn from our sins if there were no heaven or hell? Just non existence after death? I believe there's a heaven to look forward to, and a hell to be shunned.

Rhonda Edwards - posted on February 23, 2020 2:51 pm

Praise God, the Lord Jesus Christ! Dr Sproul is correct. I miss him so much.

J Jenkins - posted on February 23, 2020 6:34 pm

26 and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, 27 that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; – Acts 17:26-27

After the fall of Adam, and at particular times throughout human history to the present God created every single nation along with their boundaries so that individuals within these nations would seek Him and find Him. The seeking apparently even involves some groping abilities on the part of the unregenerate person. God has made it possible for "each one of us" to find Him by being not far from us as opposed to far. I agree with Dr. Sproul that no man can come to God unless God draws him (through natural revelation, His word, the Holy Spirit etc). I disagree that this involves a person being regenerate first.

Mark Rogers - posted on February 24, 2020 10:06 pm

"No one seeks after God," is a generalisation.

P - posted on February 25, 2020 11:14 pm

Biggest theological issue in the first few centuries was Augustine vs Pelagius? No…I think you need to go back and restudy Church history….

Roy Borgersen - posted on February 26, 2020 3:07 pm

This complicated theoretical faith amazes me. And even when being complicated, it is actually at the same time far too black and white in this question. So I Wonder, how many of you calvinists have actually experienced eternal life, which is knowing God? If you have, You would understand that there is both a calling and a choice like the one Adam and Eve had, eating or not eating of the tree of knowledge, or one like the choice God gave the israelites, when he told them to choose between life and death, and not least the call for repentance to THE CHURCH in the book of revelation chapter 2 and 3, where Jesus says to most of them that they are about to fall away and be rejected by Him. So the bible rejects this calvinist theology from the start to the end. You would have known from your own experience how faith grows a little by little by hearing the gospel like in the parabel of the different soils and the seed, and you would recognize the choice being part of that process, and understood the calling correct. Have you guys really never seen that process in others as well, and seen how some people reject God even though obviously being called by God? Come out of this false Babylon religion where your high priests make a religion based on pure human philosophy, before it is too late. Wake up and realize that the sign of being Gods people is not to have the correct doctrine. That is exactly what the pharisees thought was making them special. If you admit you have never experienced being driven by the holy spirit, which is the true sign, and you start seeking God with all your heart, taking off your religious calvinist glasses when you read the bible, you will experience being born again, and a life with God. HE who seeks will find. I recommend listening to people knowing this life and with the gift of teaching, like Zac Poonen.

Scottie-love - posted on February 26, 2020 5:32 pm

This is ridiculous, he is comparing the word of God to what fallen man has said. Calvinism is stupid

1974jrod - posted on February 27, 2020 6:19 pm

Seek and ye shall find.

Stephen Sponsler - posted on February 28, 2020 1:54 am

That's the problem with the Fall concept (besides which that is never stated anywhere in the bible), it's putting the cart before the horse, after-all, if they had had the 'moral ability' to not eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, why did they? Because they did NOT have it; why were they disobedient? There was no Fear of the LORD before their eyes. Did they covet? Yes, that is in part why Paul used that example with himself. Did they worship the creature rather than the creator? Yes. Did they know God as the LORD GOD? No. Did God put them there in the first place to show their total inability to be obedient to Him? Yes. Did God create 'the serpent'? Yes. Why did "Eve' not see the Tree of Life, that is to say, did she even know about it? not according to scripture. She wasn't even there when God spoke to 'the man' about it. Here is the True Fall: "And GOD CAUSED a Deep Sleep to FALL upon the man. And He Slept" (end of story, and he still sleeps otherwise Paul would not have written; "Wake up Sleeper…" *quoting Isaiah. Even in using the same explanation R.C. Sproul did, God commanded "the man' to do something he couldn't do. The man was made from DUST – and became a living soul. He did not have the Spirit of God in Him (Christ in you, The Hope of Glory) as such, in His View, was 'fallen'. "And I saw Satan Fall like lightning' to where? A place that is already un-Holy…

God's Warriors - posted on March 4, 2020 9:05 am

May we introduce Jesus to those who do not yet know Him?

Psalms 119:151
Thou art near, O LORD; and all thy commandments are truth.

Jesus is The Word, John 1:1-5
The Word God spoke: Exodus 20:1
The Word God wrote: Deuteronomy 4:13
and The Word God made flesh John 1:14. He is our example of The Trinity. He is The Law that hung on the cross and The Law that is written in the heart.
Psalms 40:7
Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me
Hebrews 10:7
Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.

We do not work for our salvation, Jesus died and saved the world. But we can work for our protection from the plagues, those coming to steal, kill, and destroy, from deception etc.. There is nothing wrong with works for we are judged on our works. Faith without works is dead. Why would Jesus tell us to pray for workers, if no work is to be done?

May we all receive the wisdom of The Father in Deut. 6:8-9 and the advice of Paul and put on Jesus.

Monica VanDeventer - posted on March 5, 2020 8:00 pm

Paul is talking to believers. Only believers can seek God. Context is key!

Acurry17 - posted on March 7, 2020 10:13 pm

Wtf he tryna say?

Acurry17 - posted on March 7, 2020 10:16 pm

OSHO:

https://youtu.be/4Pp5mWs8k5I


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