Have you ever considered how and why you are a follower of Jesus Christ? I am sure most would say ‘well, I thought about it and decided I would believe in Jesus!” So, I am a Christian because I believed in Him!
The question next perhaps that could be asked is this; “Why did you make that decision and choice?” The person may say, “I just told you, I decided to believe in Jesus and was baptized and I now am a Christian!”
Let’s examine this then now from the Bible, God’s word, and see what He has to say about all of this. Certainly the scriptures will give us the answer and it may be something we may not like or want to hear, so I warn you ahead of time. God’s ways and works are not popular with most human beings. I have certainly found that out!
In America or the USA, we love to think we are independent and free and can do most anything we want to do or not do things we don’t want to do! Sort of like we are the masters of our own destiny.
Doing things “My Way” as the song of Frank Sinatra goes! Things are all about me, my and mine! I am in control and it is all about my choices. I can decide to be a follower of Buddha, or Confucius, or Mohammad, or Jesus. It is my choice!
Well, let’s see if that is really so from the ONLY GOD that exists and that left mankind HIS metanarrative about especially His Son Jesus Christ the Lord from glory and heaven!
The Bible is full of words that say God is involved in calling, choosing, electing, predestinating, saving, doing whatever He wills and wishes among the peoples on planet earth! God tells us in Romans 9:15-16, “For HE (GOD) says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion. So then IT IS NOT OF HIM WHO WILLS, NOR OF HIM WHO RUNS BUT OF GOD WHO SHOWS MERCY.”
One would think that is the end of story since God states it clearly. He is speaking about human beings, individual human beings not a Nation or a Tribe or a Ethnic group such as Gentiles as a group, but individuals OUT of both Jews and Gentiles. But no, man will not settle it at all there. He will not have a God who is like that!!
I have heard about all there is out there in terms of rejection of what God actually states until I can’t keep up with them all. Rejection of God And His word is commonplace even within so called Christian Churches and so-called Christian ministers. I say so called, because people who stand against God and His word I have doubts they even know God and Christ at all.
I recently listened to a preacher/minister who is a Pastor of a local Church in Texas. A brilliant speaker and very passionate and likeable. He has some 40 Plus Lies he speaks about which the Church is engaged in teaching and he shows the verses of scripture whereby he states prove they are lying to the congregations on all of those issues. As I say, he is a persuasive speaker. Many of the points he brought out in each sermon were entirely true and he was right on target. However, as it usually goes, some he is far removed from scriptural integrity and clear Biblical teachings for he engages in changing, twisting, leaving out, and all types of maneuvering to make some Biblical doctrines being taught by the Churches as totally wrong.
One must be very careful for God is not going to bless and/or allow a person to Take Away words, or Add words to His words without a response. In fact, Woe’s are promised and spoken about any person doing such. Curses are promised for instance in Galatians upon anyone who preaches any other Gospel than what is spoken and written by Paul the Apostle. But today, I find no fear of God in most who engage in these matters for they really get passionate in their denials of God and His word.
Oh, they don’t think they are wrong, so on they go on their crusades to make people think they are right on with their explanations. I might say, we all are like that are we not? But, we had better make absolutely sure we are on the same page as God or ADMIT publicly this is just our opinion or our ideas about such and such! That would be fine, but most do not do that, they preach it as if what they are saying is the absolute word of God period!
Basically, I am speaking now on one matter that is being handled by people in pulpits and seminaries and other forums out there on the Bible Doctrine of Election.
The preacher I mentioned would take a passage and totally toss out the pronouns, “we, us” etc., and make it a thought about a concept dealing with a National grouping as such or just Election to do certain things for God, but NOT saving or salvation issues. Plus he would not handle the clear verses which state Election is dealing with individuals and is a veritable truth of the Bible concerning who will be saved and how!
The Bible is clear on some very distinct matters relating to the human beings on this earth such as;
- Everyone is conceived and born a sinner by birth. Sin runs in the bloodline of Adam. Adam’s original sin flows through the blood of Adam down to the last person who will ever inhabit the earth. That means that every human being is lost, separated from God, and would have to be saved by God’s grace and mercy in order to have everlasting life.
- Being born a sinner, means NOT that one is practicing all types of sins, which are the fruit flowing from the state of Sin, but rather, they are as BAD OFF as they could possibly be. They are separated from God, do not know God, living in darkness spiritually, and in the household of Satan as his children and bound up and shackled with the chains of sin.
- God is found to be a God of Justice and His law was broken by humans, and that rebellion and personal choice meant they would have to Die both physically and spiritually and be punished forever, for their sin was against an infinite God!
- Scripture teaches that human beings CANNOT UNDERSTAND FOR ONE MOMENT ANY SPIRITUAL TRUTH. GOD HAS TO SHOW THEM THE TRUTH AND OPEN THEIR HEARTS, MIND AND SOUL/SPIRIT OR IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN. They are NEVER seeking the REAL God during their life at all. They are certainly prone to be religious, wanting to worship something or someone, but NEVER wanting to know the REAL Jehovah God, the Great I AM and Jesus Christ the God/man and Savior. In fact, Romans tells us that “No man seeks after God…..”
- God would be Just to leave them right where they are and stay under His wrath and condemnation. He would still be right and Just and could not be charged with wrongdoing. In fact, the Holy Angels who sinned with Lucifer (Satan) and fell which was 1/3 of all of them, have no way of pardon or escape from God’s judgment and wreath. He never pardons them! He could have done the same with the human beings on planet earth.
- A worthy confession of faith on this matter of Election is found in the Westminster Confession of Faith and the Thirty-nine Articles of the Church of England as well as the Heidelberg and Belgic Confessions and the Canons of Dort. Remember these are writings of man, but they are for the most part right on target concerning the essentials of the faith. It reads as follows: “Those of mankind who are predestinated unto Life, God, before the foundation of the world was laid, according to His eternal and immutable Purpose, and the secret counsel and good pleasure of His Will, has chosen in Christ to everlasting glory, out of His mere free grace and love, without any other thing in the creature as a condition or cause moving Him thereunto.” This is called Unconditional Election. God did not see anything in fallen man that was causing Him to choose anyone of them. For all were sinners and fallen and corrupted.
- The foreknowledge of God is based upon HIS decree, plan, or purpose that expresses His will, and NOT upon some foreseen act of positive volition on the part of man. Verses expressing this is found in Romans 8: 28-29 which reads: “We KNOW that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the CALLED according to HIS PURPOSE. For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate……”! Here we can see it is based upon the Divine PLAN! Not something man would do or seek, but something God ordained to happen and take place by His own purpose and plan. Not man’s!
- It is clear also as we read in Romans 9:11, “For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the PURPOSE of God according to Election might stand, NOT of Works, but of HIM that CALLETH….it is written Jacob have I loved and Esau Have I hated.” Here he is dealing with individual human beings, and not a total group ethnically even though He did choose Israel (Jews) as a nation to be and do certain things even though most of them were Unbelievers and lost.
- So the Ground of Election or the Basis of Election IS IN GOD HIMSELF! It is not even in the act of faith or some condition in the children of good or evil. Election is Unconditional so Man can do nothing to merit it or make it happen. There is NOT a spark of goodness in man ever! No man or woman has any spark to do good spiritually and morally for the glory of God, nor is there any desire to seek the real God, worship the real God, but rather, to live in sin and do their own thing freely which is to sin!! They live in their spiritual environment which is darkness and in the “jail house” of their faith Lucifer. They don’t even really know it but they are in his family. Someone MORE powerful than their own abilities and others abilities has to break through that stronghold and give them mercy and grace in terms of faith and repentance and opening of their spiritual eyes making them alive in order to be saved from punishment. And there is ONE who can do that and His name is Jesus!
- God delights in using the weak, useless, worthless, in a way that guarantees that HE alone gets all the glory. That is why NOT many wise, and wealthy and powerful are not called to Christ and saved. Listen to these words: 1 Corinthians 1: 26-29;
“See your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But GOD, has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, has God chosen, yes, and things which are not, to bring to nothing things that are: THAT NO FLESH SHALL GLORY IN HIS PRESENCE.”
- The book of 2 Timothy 1:9 reads, “God has saved us, and called us with an holy calling, NOT according to our works, but according to HIS OWN purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus BEFORE THE WORLD BEGAN…”! Notice this was predetermined. This election was predetermined.
- JESUS CHRIST HAS THE LAST WORD ON THIS NOTE HIS WORDS: “You have not chosen me but I have chosen you.” John 15:16 and Paul said this was done before the world even was created – notice his words; “According as He has CHOSEN us IN Christ BEFORE the foundation of the world.”
Many more verses throughout the scripture teaches us this. If it were left up to man he would never believe, for man is totally and completely depraved, totally incapable, impotent, of that which is good. Left on his own to make a Decision for Christ, without FIrST being Given Life and Faith by an ACT of God man would never come to Christ Jesus.
Even Jesus said, in John 5:40, “You will NOT come to me, that you might have life!”
No one can question the righteous judge who legally even by our own human standards send criminals to their rightful punishment, and God certainly HAS to for HE has to be Righteous and keep His word. But the question we can ask, is “Why ME Lord, Why me, for I too am the chiefest of sinners”? Leaving others to perish is JUST and RIGHT, Saving lost sinners is Amazing Grace for we have been granted mercy because we are never worthy of such grace. Could God have saved the whole human race and stopped all of this from happening. Sure! He did not have to do any of this. But HE did it for His own good pleasure and His own glory and to His praise and honor. It is HIS choice, for we are just human created beings out of the dust, but be thankful if YOU hear His voice calling you to Christ Jesus and if you trust in Him alone for salvation you are certainly ONE of HIS elect!
Conversational questions and answers:
- In speaking about Election and/or Predestination, we need to remember other teachings which have impact on these precious truths. For instance, When God saves a person, the Bible speaks of Justification by and through faith in the Gospel message means ALL sin or sins are forgiven past, present and future. In fact, when Christ died and rose again, that was an event which at that point, WE today would be over 2000 years into the future. So my sins were future in terms of the Cross and the Empty Tomb and the Ascension!
- Also, the sins Christ died for, were ALL, all types, all acts which do not measure up to righteousness and holiness. That means this: UNBELIEF is the most egregious of all sins. So, when Christ died for His Sheep, His chosen ones, His elect, that means He died for their sin of unbelief. That is WHY HE had to give the gift of Faith and Repentance, because their Unbelief had to be broken down or should I say made to be a active living Faith that works! Normal human faith doesn’t work! It can’t work! It is full of sin and unrighteousness.
- Just having a faith that states you can sit in a chair expecting it to hold you up when you sit down, IS NOT the same as the Most Holy Sacred Faith God gives to a sinner so they can embrace Christ! They are NOT the same! Yet, most think they are. The term Believe for instance, is NOT what we normally think of like, Believing in George Washington as the first President! No that is not saving belief! Saving belief means a personal trust, reliance upon, depending upon, in such a manner as not being able to see physically the thing you believe in naturally, but being able to see that which is unseen, and that becomes the substance of things hoped for! It is a most Holy Faith. It WORKS spiritually in the soul/spirit of men and women who are called and chosen. They AWAKE unto LIFE from the dead spiritually, and begin to SEE the LIGHT of Christ in their hearts, minds, soul and spirit. It works! For God makes it work! It comes from HIM and is not the faculty of man’s will power and abilities. It is a supernatural Belief! It comes when the Gospel is preached and the word of God is like a sword, dividing between the soul and the spirit and the word of God is a discerner of the thoughts and intent of the heart. It is powerful! It is full of the same power that raised Christ Jesus from the tomb!
- So, Election is first! God chose some out of the ALL to come because NONE of them would come, could not come, did not want to come, and never would come if HE did not become for them the first cause of their coming or responding. They would NEVER respond if HE did not ACT upon them!! The scripture states clearly the Natural Man or woman cannot understand for one moment the spiritual truths of God’s words! Totally blind, deaf, and dead to such!
- One of the mistakes of many theologians and teachers and preachers is that they think every person can ON their own initiative “make God save them” by praying a prayer, or studying and getting knowledge, or trying to clean up their acts, etc., because they have a choice ability. Yes, they are FREE to do all they wish to do controlled by their characters and status which is a life unbelief and sin. They live and breath and make choices all day long, but NOT spiritual choices that WORK in order to know God and be saved and live for His glory! That requires supernatural power from God to them!
- By the way, If God’s blood shed on the Cross pays for ALL sins a person will ever commit, that means ALL human beings would be saved because all human beings are unbelievers initially. Unbelief is the chief sin and it would mean all people would be saved. SO WE KNOW THAT IS NOT RIGHT. HIS BLOOD DID NOT PAY FOR THE UNBELIEF OF ALL SINNERS BECAUSE WE KNOW THERE ARE MILLIONS OR BILLIONS WHO NEVER TRUST IN CHRIST AND ACTUALLY HATE CHRIST AND CHRISTIANITY. AND THE BIBLE SAYS MANY WILL BE PUNISHED IN HELL AND THE LAKE OF FIRE. So, this PROVES that HE shed His blood to cover the SINS of HIS own Sheep He calls and chooses and elects and it WORKS for them ONLY! He states that also clearly. Yes, whosoever will come to Christ will be saved by they have to COME and they can only COME if they are effectually called and have the New Birth to LIFE come into their heart as Christ draws them unto Himself.
- The aforementioned situations then shows us that God chooses some and it is NOT on the basis of their works, their status, their race, their situation in life etc.! It is by GRace alone and mercy alone! God chooses and His choices are His own personal Decisions regarding whom HE will save and call. We do not know WHY we of all people, are saved, because we are sinners like all others. This is a mystery we do not have an answer for. But we do know HE DID NOT HAVE TO SAVE ALL PEOPLE FOR HE IS RIGHTEOUS AND HOLY JUDGE AND HE IS NOT OBLIGATED TO SAVE ANYONE FROM THEIR REBELLION AND SIN. HE DID NOT SAVE THE FALLEN ANGELS BUT WILL SEND THEM ALL TO ETERNAL PUNISHMENT. HE DID NOT SAVE ALL OF THE HUMAN RACE NUMERICALLY, BUT ONLY A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF PEOPLE FROM EVERY RACE, LANGUAGE AND BACKGROUND. JEWS AND GENTILES. NO ONE CAN QUESTION HIM FOR WE ARE ALL OWNED BY HIM AND WE CAME FROM DUST, AND HE PUT THE SPIRIT INTO THESE BODIES AND WE BECAME WHAT WE ARE. It is HIs own prerogative and personal choice and no one has a right to question Him at all. We as humans do not want fairness! If HE were fair HE would send all to hell and the lake of fire in judgment. Thank God, He used a legal, just, method to save some and show HIS Amazing LOVE and GRACE to them. The others He shows His Amazing Justice and Wrath and Condemnation! The created beings in heaven are being taught MORE about God’s Amazing Love, His Amazing Justice, His Amazing Works! All is to promote ALL GLORY and HONOR to HIS name!