Friday, December 12, 2014
Part I ended with ... When the elect is mentioned in the New Testament, it is usually speaking of Christ's church. But it hasn't always been this way.
The elect in the Old Testament is the nation of Israel ... Deuteronomy 7:6 ... "For thou art an Holy People ... the Lord thy God hath chosen (selected) thee to be a special people ..."
Also in Isaiah 65:9 ... "And I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob ... and mine elect (select) shall inherit it ..."
Therefore, I am of the opinion that God ... knowing from the beginning who would accept salvation and who would not ... elected (selected) those whom He foreknew would accept Jesus. It is in the light of this foreknowledge that He pre-determines.
While He never leaves His ultimate purpose at the mercy of human uncertainty … He recognizes the free will of man and pre-arranges and directs events according to His foreknowledge of what man will do.
Let me say again, what must be kept in mind is the fact that predestination ... is not God arbitrarily predetermining who should and should not be saved. God foreknew what each one would do in response to His grace, and He elected (selected) those whom He knew would respond positively.
Paul writes in Ephesians 1:4-5 ... "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of His will ..."
This scripture seems to infer that everything results from the will of God.
On the other hand, Revelation 22:17 states ... "And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." This scripture clearly says that the water of life is available to anyone on the basis of choice and human free will.
In Matthew 23:37 we have the words of Jesus while He wept over Jerusalem, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem … how often would I have gathered thy children together … and ye would not!"
The truth is, the Bible seemingly teaches both positions. God is Sovereign, but His decisions are not arbitrarily based on random choices. Our inability to reconcile the two positions does not make one position or the other untrue. God can be Sovereign without violating man’s freedom of choice.
But many ask ... "What about Judas?" Some people say he didn't have a choice. Was Judas, just following God's plan for him? I would have to say no ... because God is not the author of sin. But even so, the free will choice Judas made was incorporated into God's overall plan. Judas did not do as he did because God knew that he would do so ... but the fact that he would do so ... was the basis upon which God knew it.
Fore-knowledge no more determines a man’s actions than after-knowledge. Knowledge is determined by the fact ... not the fact by the knowledge. God knows from all eternity what each man will do, whether he will yield to the Spirit and accept Christ, or whether he will resist the Spirit and refuse Christ.
Only those who will receive Him are ordained to eternal life. If any are lost it is simply because they will not come to Christ and obtain eternal life. God chooses those who believe through the measure of faith He gives to each man. He does not predestine that some may not believe. The choice to become a participant in God’s predestined plan of salvation is always the free will option of all men.
His will is that all should choose life ...
1st Timothy 2:4 ... "Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth."
2nd Peter 3:9 ... "The Lord is ... not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."
I believe ... His ultimate purpose ... is to bring salvation to man.
I leave you with this question ... "Why didn't the Jews believe in Jesus?"
"They did not believe because they would not believe."
(Comments are welcome, and will be posted by moderator.)
Resource material from ... "Foundations of Pentecostal Theology" ... edited for clarity